As consumer 3D printers drop in price, they are making their way into classrooms around the country and changing the way students learn. Industry watchers say there are hundreds of thousands of the 3D printers already in classrooms — one school district in Southern California has gone so far as to put a 3D printer in every single school, teaching kids as young as second grade how to use the devices and Computer Aided Design software to make printable items.
Educators teaching the technology say the devices foster creativity, teamwork and flexibility, all skills that students need to be competitive in today’s work force. One expert suggests that 3D printers will soon be as prevalent in the classroom as overhead projectors. Are 3D printers really the classroom tool of the future? Do students need to be exposed to 3D printing technology to be competitive for jobs? We’ll explore these questions and more with KPCC’s Arts Education Reporter Mary Plummer and her guests at our Crawford Family Forum. Be here for this discussion, and see students and printers at work, too.