14 Sep 3D printing at school: the importance of “learn by doing”
In recent years the introduction of new technological tools and the adoption of “learn by doing” approaches in schools has been greatly increasing. Adaptable approaches to different needs and technologies within everyone’s reach have grown projects and experiments that bring children and young people closer to a new way of learning firsthand.
3D printing is a practical example of this phenomenon: many institutions are now equipped with 3D printers and adhere to projects based on the STEAM approach, which identify in the fusion of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics a new teaching method that brings lesson theory closer to practice.
Using specific tools like 3D printing means creating a learning environment with precise rules and processes that directly affect how you learn concepts and skills.
The importance of testing yourself
School is the perfect place to learn new things in a safe context, with the help of educators and teachers. The new approach to STEAM subjects allows students to actively participate in projects, creating immersive teaching environments where theoretical concepts are transformed into experiments for everyone, and in which inclusiveness, learning and fun come first.
Projects that put into practice the teachings learned during the lessons are essential to the completion of school learning.
3D printing at school
The use of 3D printing in schools helps the integration of multiple activities and simplifies the learning of STEAM subjects, enabling the acquisition of new knowledge and stimulating children’s creativity.
3D printing can be useful both in the creation of didactic elements and in projects that allow an approach to more technical subjects in order to make learning more dynamic and customisable.
The use of 3D printing and extrusion systems allow learning and education to recycle materials, which can be experienced firsthand by children.
Thanks to 3D printing and extrusion processes, it is possible to demonstrate recycling and circular economy processes with simple experiments.
Examples of existing and functioning plastic recycling projects can already be found in many Italian schools that we also had the pleasure of collaborating with at Felfil; we would like to mention the CarrellOne project (in collaboration with Campustore and the creative direction of Francesco Bombardi), a mobile plastic recycling system through which children can experiment plastic extrusion and 3D printing.
Shredder, extruder, and filament winder are the first tools to be used to approach plastic recycling, which can then be completed by a 3D printer. The waste is first collected and divided by type, then shredded, extruded and printed, in processes that can involve children in group activities.
We have seen the benefits of using new technologies in school and the importance of providing children with tools to be able to observe the phenomena firsthand. Recycling plastic objects in schools is the first step to educate them to respect the environment.
It is important for schools to introduce students to different and interactive teaching perspectives in order to educate the adults of tomorrow with skills and competences that combine theory with practice.