Teachers Learn Best Practices for Incorporating 3D Printing at RAMP MD Workshop
Educators from around the state of Maryland and Delaware came together for a workshop on “Teaching 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing,” Thursday, July 26, 2018, at the Advanced Manufacturing Facility at Aberdeen Proving Ground. The goal was to help educators understand the value of additive manufacturing as a teaching tool and identify best practices for incorporating 3D printing into the classroom.
Hosted by the Regional Additive Manufacturing Partnership (RAMP MD) and the Northeastern Maryland Technology Council, the workshop attracted over 40 teachers and administrators from K-12 school systems, community colleges, and universities in Maryland and Delaware.
Three-D printing is an effective tool because it gives students an opportunity to learn kinesthetically and teach complex concepts in a hands-on manner. It also helps prepare them to participate in a fast-growing industry that by 2027, will add over 3 million jobs and $600 billion to the US economy. RAMP MD’s Workshop was designed to help teachers get new ideas for incorporating the technology into all subject areas.
Representatives from the Community College of Baltimore County, Digital Harbor Foundation, Harford County Public Schools, and the Army gave presentations. The educators also toured the Army’s $25 million Advanced Manufacturing Facility at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
Shawn Grimes, operations director of the Digital Harbor Foundation, talked about its new 3D Printshop that recently opened to provide 3d printing service bureau support to local businesses and school systems. The printshop is operated by students involved in Digital Harbor Foundation after-school programs.
Harford County Public Schools’ Rob Limpert and Garrison Souder have collaborated to put 3D printers in every school in the county. Limpert, formerly a Technology Education teacher and now Supervisor of Career and Technology Education for the school system, said that additive manufacturing technologies give students an opportunity to bring their coursework to life and actively participate in learning as opposed to sitting in a classroom listening to a lecture. Souder, a middle school teacher at Southampton, was one of the first teachers to employ the technology as a teaching tool and has been instrumental in helping teachers in other schools incorporate additive manufacturing into their lessons of all subjects.
Doug Kendzierski, Chair, Applied Technology & Engineering for the Community College of Baltimore County, emphasized the importance of including 3d printing and additive manufacturing as part of everyday learning as early as elementary school in order to interest students early and prepare them for the technological transformation that additive promises to deliver.
RAMP MD will host another educator workshop in 2019, providing opportunities for educators to share ideas and best practices for the classroom.