In Less C, More IT, I tried to express that exploring technology is not just about using technology. If we get the opportunity to create technology this allows for a deeper understanding and gives the ability to fundamentally restructure the world around us.
Quantum Victoria is running what we believe to be one of the first offerings in the world for K12 education – a 4 day teacher professional development program where teachers get to build a 3D Printer for their school using 3D printed parts, open source electronics and other miscellaneous pieces.
Risky? Yes, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Led by the brilliant Paul Taylor (@DrBlackAdder), and starting Monday week, teachers will get to explore and learn the inner workings of 3D extrusion printing, the basics of 3D modelling, and explore many of the educational applications of 3D printing. At the end of the program teachers take home a brand new self‐built 3D printer (prusa mendel style), and all of the skills that they require to get their school printing.
This is what technology now allows and we are essentially creating the ability for schools to produce self-replicating 3D printers at a fraction of the cost of retail.
Joel Willis assembling his first 3D printer.
Often 3D printing is seen only in terms of the end product that it produces. These results can often be amazing – see a previous post 123D Elephanticus.
But a 3D printer combined with modelling skills, lateral thinking and problem solving ability, becomes an all-purpose machine that really puts power into the hands of amateur creators and allows them to create solutions to real-world problems. It shouldn’t be thought of in terms of the end product, but more in terms of what it can do once you see it for what it is.
The number of places for the program were filled fast and I look forward to sharing the successes/challenges or otherwise.