My prediction—Ten years from now, when today’s students enter the workforce, 3D printing/additive manufacturing will become the defacto tool to use in prototyping and in many production applications. One of the obstacles holding back higher usage of this technology is a lack of education or familiarity with it.
Ultimaker is one of a number of companies helping today’s students gain expertise in 3D printing. The company has launched the Ultimaker Pioneer Program to connect educators throughout North America who are passionate about bringing 3D printing and design into K – 12 and higher education.
According to the company, the Ultimaker Pioneer Program allows educators, or Pioneers, to feature their 3D printing expertise and knowledge by sharing useful content on the new Ultimaker Education website. Contributors will maintain ownership of their own content through Creative Commons Attribution, Share-Alike, and Non-Commercial licensing. By visiting the Ultimaker Education website, educators throughout North America will have access to resources and knowledge that may not be available locally.
“Teaching 3D modeling and printing in our schools is a relatively new educational endeavor and faculty are on the front lines, figuring out the best methods of teaching as we continue to learn about the topic ourselves,” said Burton Isenstein, an Adjunct Assistant Professor at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. “It’s smart to tap into what’s already happening in classrooms throughout the world and the Ultimaker Pioneer Program will help educators build a base of knowledge upon everyone’s experience.”
The growing Ultimaker Pioneer Program community currently has a presence in 21 states with 58 educators who are passionate about using 3D printing in education to inspire, excite and motivate their students.
“The Ultimaker Education Pioneers Program brings together educators who have experience with 3D printing, regardless of the printer brand or model, and who are willing to share with other educators throughout North America,” said John Kawola, President of Ultimaker North America. “We’re thrilled to facilitate this program, assisting in enhancing the way young generations create with technology.”
“The greatest benefit of this program is the collaboration and innovation among education professionals in the field of 3D design and manufacturing,” said Geoff Frankl, a Technology Coordinator for 7 – 12 grade students at IvyTech Charter School in Moorpark, California. “All of this will translate into modern curricula involving this technology, the paramount goal of which will be transforming today’s youth into tomorrow’s well-trained and globally-competitive employee or entrepreneur.”