3D printing technology is dogged by the same implementation problems as many other new technologies when it comes to classroom use.

Revolution 3D Printers deals with a great number of schools and educators across North America, and we have discovered that while some educators have exceled at creating an environment that creates guidelines for their students to refine and apply their creativity, a great many more demonstrate the value of 3D printing in the creation of aesthetic components like key chains and pencil holders, but fall well short of realizing the technology’s full potential.   We have heard of educators working with students on robotics, and in some cases the creation of prosthetic limbs, but we have heard others say that the 3D printer they have acquired is collecting dust on a shelf.

It is the combination of these truly inspiring stories and the perceived need among educators that has prompted R3DP to devise a two step initiative we hope will help teachers address the issue of more fully integrating 3D printing technology
into their classrooms.

The first step is called the Challenge Circle.

The Challenge Circle is designed as a fun, project centered and open competition where grade appropriate ‘real-world’ challenges will be issued to elementary, middle and secondary schools across Canada and the United States. These Challenges will not be specific to industry and R3DP is committed to making them as relatable as possible to the students, so that they can immediately understand the usefulness of the ‘challenge’ they are attempting to address.

Educators taking point on the Challenge for their school will be encouraged to work with a group of students to frame the challenge, research the need and how best to respond to it, design the response, print it if possible but submit the response to R3DP in an acceptable (most likely .STL) format so that we can print it using the parameters set by the submitting team.   Since the Challenge Circle IS a competition, a panel of independent judges will assess the submissions and determine a winner for each grade-group category.  While there are prizes – including printable trophies! – the focus of the Challenge Circle is clearly not on the prize but rather the fun experience of responding to the Challenge itself.

Registration deadline is December 31st, 2017. 

Registration is free, so if you haven’t registered yet, click HERE for more detailed information and how to register!

The second step of the R3DP initiative is called the Future Formers Forum.

The Future Former’s Forum will make use information gained through the Challenge Circle and the submissions received.  This compilation of information will be analyzed, compiled and made available openly for educators to review so that they can see some of the common and more successful practices used during the Challenge Circle exercise in order to help them determine ‘best-practices’ that they can then integrate into their schools and programs.   The Forum will also provide a platform for constructive discourse across North America by educators so that they can continue to share and build on those processes and ideas they feel work most effectively for their students.

R3DP feels that by providing both the opportunity to take part in the Challenge Circle, and the subsequent provision of information and platform for discussion, we can help inspire educators to ‘take the next step’ when it comes to realizing the potential 3D printing represents for their schools and the future of industry!