Mar.13, 2013

A Japanese television news crew visited Buford Middle School this week to watch closely how students crafted their own sound speakers from plastic and paper with 3D printing technology.

The Japanese team is producing a program for Japanese television featuring U.S. efforts to bring more technology into schools.

The school is granted $300,000 from the state for creating a "laboratory school for advanced manufacturing technologies" and for preparing students for high-tech jobs. For teachers this is also a brand new experiences to combine new technology with traditional education.

Learning by doing - "It connects theoretical or conceptual knowledge and applied knowledge," said Rosa Atkins, Charlottesville schools superintendent. "It gives the reason behind the theory."

The goal of this program, according to professor Glen Bull, is "to develop coursework that can be replicated in schools across the country." In the future all high school students are expected to get the chance to study advanced manufacturing in college.

On Monday students showed off how they used UVa-created software and a 3D printer to make the plastic support structure for a paper cone "woofer," a speaker that enhances the bass. And it works very well.

(Images: Andrew Shurtleff)

Buford Middle School is not the only school who sees a growing importance of education for future workforce. The STEM Academy, a non-profit status organization in U.S. dedicated to improving STEM literacy for all students, today announced a partnership with Stratasys, 3D printers manufacturer, to advocate for best of class STEM programming. The partnership incorporates Stratasys 3D printers into the STEM Academy's curriculum programing and allows students to print their designs into actual 3D objects. In addition to enhancing the learning experience, 3D printing technology also allows students to build a work portfolio while still in high school, better preparing students to earn internships and career advancement upon high school graduation.

Another company, LulzBot, makers of the desktop 3D printer, is partnering with the DAVE School, the Digital Animation and Visual Effects School, to offer a new 3D printer training program that will be open to students and corporations.

Offered exclusively at The DAVE School, the 3D printing training program will bridge a gap by teaching people how to print objects using computer modeling and a 3D printer. Presently, The DAVE School incorporates a LulzBot printer into its curriculum to print character models, but teachers and students have also found it useful in creating props, miniatures and a new stop-motion animation camera currently under construction.

"We continue to find creative uses for 3D printing at The DAVE School and believe it will become a fundamental part of the film, animation and gaming industry going forward," said Jeff Scheetz, The DAVE School Founder and Director. "With this new training program, we will introduce 3D printing to not only the entertainment industry, but any sector needing prototyping and short-run manufacturing."

President Obama gave his annual State of the Union address in February and talked about bringing technology into schools for job training. "I think it's interesting that they're including 3-D computerization and printing into the education program at this level and what it means for the future of job training in the U.S.," said Takashi Yanagisawa, a correspondent with Japan's Nippon Television.

"It's something we probably should consider in our country, as well," Yanagisawa said.





Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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