There’s a new STEM learning tool available to K-12 schools, and it may be even cooler than 3D printers.
CNNMoney reports that 49 schools across the nation will be receiving a free 3D carving machine from Inventables, a company that manufactures the machine.
Different from a 3D printer, 3D carving machines carve into material such as wood, plastic, metal, and wax.
“You can create real objects like boardgames, puzzles, jewelry, robots—even guitars,” said Zach Kaplan, CEO of Inventables, a manufacturer of 3D carving machines. “They basically turn anyone into an inventor.”
CNNMoney’s article tells the story of how Harriman High School, a rural Tennessee public school of 350 students, 70% of whom are from disadvantaged families, won a contest to receive a free 3D carving machine from Inventables. The contest was held by Kaplan, as he wanted to give disadvantaged schools the opportunity to utilize the machines to enhance STEM learning.
John Daugherty, a science teacher at Harriman High School, will be using the 3D carving machine in his debut STEM class to help prepare them for a career in STEM-related fields.
“Manufacturing, especially of auto parts and industrial parts, has taken off in adjacent cities,” said Daugherty. He believes that having a robust STEM program will better prepare his students for life after graduation.
“These [manufacturing] jobs pay an average $45,000 starting out of school,” he said. “Not all of my students will go to college. I want to prepare them for jobs that they’ll have a real shot at.”
3D carving machines normally cost between $1,000 and $2,000, and many schools cannot afford to implement the machines into their classrooms. However, with 49 schools now being granted the opportunity to experience the benefits of these innovative tools, we may see the price drop as popularity increases, much like 3D printers.
Highly innovative educational technology such as 3D carving machines provide students with opportunities to learn skills that will truly prepare them for the future, and may even help them discover talents they didn’t know they had.
STEM skills are needed in the workforce today and will be needed even more so in the future, and it’s important schools stay aware of what new technologies are available to them, and how they can help to improve education.
Here at K-12 TechDecisions, we work every day to keep you up to date on the newest educational technology trends and products. We’re here to act as a resource to help you learn about educational technology, how it can help students learn, and how to help you make the best purchasing decisions for your school. Check in with us frequently to ensure you don’t miss a beat!
Check out the video below to learn more Inventables’ X-Carve 3D carving machine.