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Teachers, 3D printing and STEAM

How can you apply 3D printing in the classroom through STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) lessons? The following series of articles, A Guide to Lesson Planning for 3D Printing, takes an in depth look at each of the STEAM subjects covered in YSoft be3D Academy through challenging and fun in classroom projects.

The Importance of STEAM subjects

Teaching the interdisciplinary subjects of STEAM is focused on giving students the tools to achieve more. These core subjects impact every area of our lives and are crucial to prepare the next generation of a global workforce. STEAM subjects encourage independent thinking, develop transferable skills and use student’s imagination and creativity to problem solve.

However, despite the importance of these skills, we are seeing a real skills gap.  With a constant growth rate of STEAM jobs, demand is high, and employers are struggling to fill positions. Computer programming and IT jobs are notoriously some of the hardest jobs to fill, so how can we encourage students to get involved in STEAM subjects to create a strong and skilled workforce?

By teaching STEAM! However, these subjects can sometimes be dry and unengaging for students and pose difficulties for teaching complex topics. 3D printing helps to create an engaging environment for goal-oriented, project-based learning while developing critical creative problem-solving skills using real life scenarios.

3D printing in STEAM subjects

The key to fostering a strong STEAM skill set lies in creating a spark and enthusiasm in students. By bringing STEAM subjects to life we can give them opportunities to explore concepts and develop a passion to pursue a STEAM led career. The benefits from learning these core subjects are mirrored by the benefits seen in educational 3D printing.

At an early age, students need to be engaged in their learning and taught in ways that can hold their attention, like social media and gaming. The easiest way to do this is to make it fun and interesting.


Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve


Roger Lewin PhD, Author and former writer/News Editor for New Scientist and Science magazines

By using 3D printing, teachers can introduce students to an interactive and innovative way of learning STEAM subjects, encouraging creativity, experimentation as well as showing them how to apply their skills to real-life situations. Allowing for the hands-on exploration of objects that are usually not available in a traditional classroom, 3D printing involves project-based learning for STEAM subjects. This provides the students opportunities to discover their talents and develop their personal resources for critical thinking and adaptation.

Ready to use 3D lessons for STEAM

3D printing is a powerful educational tool but finding the time as a teacher to learn and apply 3D printers and plan lessons is a challenge. The team here at Y Soft have worked with educators to support you in your teaching role. We know that having the option to pick and choose tried and tested projects can make your life easier and give you more time to carry out the important job of teaching. It’s why we developed be3D Academy.

YSoft be3D Academy is an online library of 3D lesson plans, video tutorials and ready to use model files. It has a range of 3D lesson plans and model recommendations for each of the STEAM subjects. These lessons cover a range of relevant topics and integrate 3D printing into the classroom with fun and challenging projects. Featuring comprehensive lesson plans, guides, videos, models and presentations, it provides everything needed to conduct a STEAM subject lesson using 3D printing.  Best of all, YSoft be3D Academy is free to browse and free to use. (Registration is required to access the lesson plans.)

Register now for access to the materials to inspire and prepare your students for the challenges of tomorrow.

The next article in this series looks specifically at Science and how YSoft be3D Academy can support you in teaching this vital subject.
You may also want to read the following articles in this series, A Guide to lesson planning for 3D Printing:

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