Jun.5, 2012

The Ultimaker-Evenings is a six weekly event organized by Ultimaker and Protospace Fablab Utrecht (Netherlands) where Ultimaker lovers share ideas, spread knowledge and solve problems. At yesterday's Ultimaker-Evening we had a chance meeting Manuela van den Bos, teacher of the Chr. Jenaplan Morgenster Elementary School in Geldermalsen (The Netherlands).

This primary school launches "De Alant", a gifted education program for children between 8~12 years old. The school gives children difficult projects to teach them how to work with challenges. One of the task is to build an Open Source 3D printer. The 3D printer provided is a kit from Ultimaker and the children need to put it together. They are divided into groups and everyone build a part of 3D printer and in the end they work together to complete it.

Manuela brought this fully-assembled 3D printer to Ultimaker-Evening - it is a working machine, it was running and printing bracelets for curious guests as us.

Manuela was very excited about working on a 3D project with primary school students. "I would recommend all schools to start the project."

Instead of learning from books or waiting for instruction from teachers, these students were told to use their hands and mind to build a complicated 3D printer. From there they need to look for solutions. In adult's world we have a word "difficult", but seems it doesn't exist in children's mind. When they start they keep on and on until they complete it.

What these kids have learned from such a program? "They learn how to work together in a team, they learn how to look for solutions, either from online resources, or approach to specialist asking for advice. These are all new for them." said Manuela.

This is an efficient way to trigger the children's curiosity and desire to learn a new technology. When they successfully finished the project, they gained self-confidence and self-esteem.

"These kids went home and told their parents what they know about 3D printer and how they build it up, while their parent even have never seen it. It gives them very good feelings." Manuela added.

While majority of parents still think they know more than their kids, the current generation is likely to have enough adult skills when it comes to technology.

"Some people think children can never do this, they are way to young. And when they see us making this, they will have to think again." "Actually, it isn't even that difficult." said Suus and Joel, two young students of "De Alant" program.

For this program Raapwerk directed and produced a film ABC 3D. Watch it after the break. (Click on "cc" to get English subtitle.)

Photo credit / source: 3dabc

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Manuela van den Bos, www.3abc.nl wrote at 6/6/2012 3:55:36 PM:

Thank you so much for your positive response. The Alant children will love to hear from this.



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