This week in Maker Movement news, teachers advocate for federal support of science, there are new innovations in 3D printing, and female scientists hope to inspire young girls. Read more about the most exciting developments in technology, science, and education below.
On April 22, 2017, educators, scientists, and citizens across the nation took part in the March for Science. The event called attention to the importance of science in general, as well as the importance of federal financial support for science programs. Participants also advocated for “evidence-based policymaking” decisions. This article outlines what effect marchers hope the event will have on STEM education — as well as how important law and policy are for influencing science education.
For a long time, 3D printers have enabled people to print plastic objects. Recently, however, a new method was developed that is allowing people to 3D print glass. The method was developed by a team at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, who figured out how to use high-purity quartz glass and a small amount of liquid polymer in order to create the printing material. 3D printed glass is cured by light and finished with a solvent bath. Experts believe that 3D printed glass will help in a variety of research fields, including data transmission, biotechnology, and more.
Stats show that science and tech are both heavily male-dominated fields. This article from the Huffington Post aggregates several outstanding science blogs started by females, who may inspire younger girls to maintain an interest in STEM education. Blogs included are The Culture of Chemistry by Michelle Francl-Donnay, STEMinist by Ann Hoang, and an astronomy blog by Emily Levesque (and more). These blogs help show younger girls just what interesting and powerful work females are capable of in science.
One strategy for running successful STEAM programs in K-12 schools is to partner with institutions of higher learning. This article describes several school and university partnerships, as well as the benefits for both institutions. It then offers insight into how many of those partnerships work, so that other schools across the country can pursue them. Some of the programs discussed in the article include the Center for K12 STEM Education at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, the Nord Anglia Education and Massachusetts Institute of Technology partnership, and the University of Arkansas Fort Smith’s “Adopt-a-Professor Program,” which pairs professors with local K-12 teachers.
3D printing can have a huge impact in the classroom, as it allows students to explore their creativity, handle objects they previously could not have access to, and better understand storytelling. However, for teachers that aren’t tech-focused, using and teaching 3D printing can be overwhelming. For that reason, MakerBot has started a program to help teachers better understand and use 3D printers in their classrooms: the MakerBot Educators program. Since launching the program earlier this year, MakerBot has received more than 100 applications to join it, and the membership is continuing to grow. This article outlines the basics of the program, as well as how teachers can benefit from joining. It also gives information about how 3D printing can be used in non-tech/science classes, including for literature, in kindergartens, and more.
If you are a teaching who is looking to implement STEM education in the classroom, check out Tinkercad. Tinkercad is a simple, online 3D design and 3D printing app that can help students of all ages and backgrounds get involved in the Maker Movement.