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by Leanne Gluck, Director of Social Impact

At 3D Systems, we believe that imparting digital literacy to the next generation requires more than simply putting 3D printers in classrooms. To become digitally literate, students must engage with 3D technology in a meaningful way. They must do more than download and print files; they must explore the design process itself and all the engineering applications and considerations that go along with it. Imparting digital literacy requires an infrastructure of curriculum, training and support.

We have found that a path of study combining 3D scanning, 3D design and 3D printing allows for ideation, problem solving and the examination of new ideas. It not only teaches students technical skills like CAD and CAM design, but critical thinking, collaboration and communication. As we move towards a competitive future with highly valued technical skills, equipping students with the tools and skill sets they need becomes increasingly more critical for their success.

And yet, for many educators the desire to help their students is obstructed by confusion over where to begin. Although they can clearly see the importance of digital literacy, its newness makes it intimidating. Recognizing this, 3D Systems has partnered with STEAMTrax to gather the resources necessary to integrate and facilitate a curriculum that ties together engineering and 3D printing technology with a core academic base in science, math, language arts, social studies, and art. STEAMTrax engages elementary and middle school students in relevant learning scenarios that are infused with 3D technology, and includes convenient kits to jumpstart classrooms with the necessary materials for each module.

Think STEAMTrax could be right for your classroom? Click here to learn more!