Weekly Roundup: JetBlue, STEAMPunk and Creativity

This week in STEAM education, experts give recommendations about how to best use 3D printers and STEAM lessons, new STEM programs are launched, and the Maker Movement expands in general. Read more about the exciting news below.

The Key to 3D Printing Creativity? Keep It Simple

In this editorial from Ed Tech Magazine, tech and teaching expert Kyle Bowen recommends that simplicity is the key to successfully using 3D printers in education. Bowen explains that teachers should simplify hardware options and give students more direction when it comes to in-class challenges in order to make lessons more effective and beneficial. Also, Bowen contends that rather than having students simply create things with a 3D printer, they should be given assignments that focus on problem-solving and collaboration.

Ultimaker, Leading 3D Printer Manufacturer, Sees 3.5x Increase in North American Channel Partnerships

UItimaker, one of the leading open-source 3D printer manufacturers, is expanding its network of partners in North America. Since the founding of the company’s headquarters in 2016, the number of resellers of the company’s printers has increased by 350 percent, greatly increasing accessibility to its products. By extending its network of channel partners, not only will more institutions and consumers have access to Ultimaker’s printers, but they’ll also have easier access to experts who can provide technical know-how and support.

STEM Starts Early

This comprehensive research report examines both the opportunities and challenges in early STEM education today. Researchers looked at early childhood policy, research and practice, and figured out how STEM could better be implemented — and how it can grow in the future. In addition to offering key recommendations for policymakers, educators and researchers in STEM, it also addresses common misconceptions about STEM education — and it looks at how we might be able to reframe the conversation about the field so that educators and policymakers will be more likely prioritize and invest in it in the future.

The JetBlue Foundation Fuels STEM Education With Grants for Six Aviation Programs

The JetBlue Foundation, an education-focused organization that promotes aviation as a top-of-mind career choice for students, recently granted another round of grants, totaling $162,000. The grants were given to programs and communities that typically serve people underrepresented in STEM fields (women, minorities, veterans, etc.) Recipients of the grants include Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, Hiller Aviation Museum and Above the Clouds.

STEAMpunk Girls: A New Project That Empowers Young Women to Shape the Digital Future

There is a new project in Australia. It’s called STEAMpunk Girls, and it’s goal is to create a space where young women can participate in and get excited about STEAM education. STEAMpunk girls hopes to address the problem of girls losing interest in math and science during their high school years in Australia, and the program STEAM education works with girls ages 12-16 in order to encourage them to follow transdisciplinary career paths. The first STEAMpunk Girls pilot program will run from May to August of this year, and it will teach young women STEAM subjects, design thinking and technical skills — culminating in a final showcase.

If you want to get your students interested in STEAM education, one great way to start is introducing them to 3D design and printing. Tinkercad is a great way to do just that, since it’s one of the easiest and most user-friendly design platforms around. To learn more about what the program does and how you can use it, check out this short video.