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According to STEM Learning, a UK provider of STEM careers support, STEM roles are expected to double in next 10 years. Yet, the organization predicts there will be a shortfall of 173,000 skilled workers, with 89% of STEM businesses struggling to recruit. To combat this, UK education systems are incorporating more STEM teaching into their curriculum, and 3D printing is a part of this plan.
This need for more STEM help in education is the driver behind events like the annual BETT Show (British Educational Training and Technology), which recently held its 2019 edition in London, UK.
Year - BETT - Show - Industry - Servant
At last year’s BETT Show, 3D Printing Industry spoke to a civil servant from the UK Department for Education, who told us that the British government’s stance was to let schools incorporate 3D printing technology by themselves, rather than issuing direct guidelines on 3D printing in the curriculum.
To see how this choice has affected schools, we returned for BETT 2019, and visited the various manufacturers and services addressing 3D printing in education. We asked them about the future of 3D printing in schools, particularly, the keenness of teachers in incorporating the technology into their classrooms.
BETT - Education - Exhibition - London - UK
BETT 2019 education exhibition, London, UK. Photo via BETT.
PrintLab, a UK provider of 3D printing curriculum, showcased its lesson plans and 3D printed models at BETT. Using these lesson plans, students can learn how to build educational objects ranging from simple, functioning percussion instruments, to “zero waste bottles” which teach children about the circular economy. The curriculum was expanded last September, and includes projects to help the differently abled, such as 3D printed braille blocks.
Nick - Mayer - Co-founder - PrintLab - Company
From Nick Mayer, co-founder of PrintLab, I learned that the company frequently liaises with 10-15 “teacher ambassadors” for advice and feedback on its curriculum. The teachers test every lesson, using their experience of the classroom environment. Through...
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