On April 11th, 43 members of the Society of Oud-Willemers visited Tractus3D in Ammerzoden. This Society is a club of former staff members (both teaching and non-teaching) of the Willem van Oranje College in the Netherlands. The educational institution has two locations and takes talent-development in all of their students very highly.
Most of this Societies’ members are retired and their contact is maintained by making excursions twice a year. Through mutual contacts, the idea arose to visit Tractus3D and learn about 3D printing. We strongly believe 3D printing can be used to teach students several skills. The technique makes children curious and stimulates them to be creative, critical and enterprising.
How interesting it was to hear the different opinions -coming from representatives of an educational institution- considering 3D printing in the classroom. Several schools have already introduced a 3D printer which most of the time started as an experiment. The initiative to introduce 3D printing usually comes from a single teacher who will use the 3D printer in class. But other teachers often have little idea how to use the printer properly.
The main reason is that 3D printing usually not being part of a school curriculum. A school has to invest in time in order for the whole staff to learn how to incorporate 3D printing into their lessons. If this does not happen the 3D printer remains an object that is used only by a select group of teachers.
We posed this question to the members of the Society to find out how to create more awareness within school boards. After all, it is a current technique, which will only be expanded more in the future. Today’s students are the future. We were given a lot of interesting insights which will help us with our mission to further promote 3D printing in education!