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HugoG

3D Printer donations for teaching kids!

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Hello all!

 

I work as volunteer at CoderDojo in the Netherlands, Alphen aan den Rijn and we teach kids to program. I recently started teaching kids how to 3D Model, and they REALLY liked it! As most of you might know, 3D Modeling is fun, but it isn't as educational as printing the object in real life and learning from it's flaws. Since CoderDojo is a non-profit organisation, we don't get money from the CoderDojo Foundation but have to get it ourself. 

That's why I made a GoFundMe page to get money for a nice 3D Printer. I very much hope posting it here would get some attentions so we can teach kids the fundamentals of 3D Printing. If you want to donate, you can do that here: https://www.gofundme.com/teaching-children-3d-print

Your money could really help kids to get an understanding of how these technologies work!

 

Thanks in advance,

The CoderDojo Alphen aan den Rijn team!

CoderDojoGoFundMe.jpg

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I teach kids as a volunteer for a First Lego League Robotics Club. This year we assembled a 3-D printer and donated it to the school so it would be available to all the students for use, not just the club.

 

My approach to teaching the 5th - 8th graders how to draw 3-D models also included learning how to code in JAVA. It turned out that using the free OpenJscad.com browser to teach 3-D drawing was a great introduction and preparation for learning more advanced work in JAVA. The most noticeable benefit was the instant gratification of being able to write code for each item and see it added to the model by rendering often. The instant clarification that there was a problem with the code just as soon as that problem was introduced, was super helpful. It allowed the kids to figure out when they made a mistake and what it was that they typed incorrectly.

 

The printer that we purchased for the club was a JGAurora for under $300. Yes, this is not the best printer out there, but it is safe (everything is behind a metal case) and it prints reasonably well. I thought the experience of assembling the printer with the class of 30 kids was a great experience for them. They learned about all the components of the printer, and understand better the reason for some of the limitations that exist in 3-D model designing. I would be telling tales if I were to say that I wouldn't like to have an Ultimaker2+ for the kids to use, but there is no possible way that our small robotics club could possibly afford one. Starting out with an inexpensive printer is not without it's frustrations, but those frustrations can also be seen as good lessons. A lot of learning can be accomplished by overcoming problems (shortcomings in the printer) and extra skills can be developed thru learning ways to circumnavigate those impediments.

 

I wish you great success! It looks like you have an ample supply of mentors in your program. That is an area that I am having trouble finding support. Any suggestions would be welcomed.

 

Another free learning resource that I have successfully used is SoloLearn.com for very nicely done training in programming basics. They cover most of all the modern languages. 

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1 hour ago, MrMaint said:

My approach to teaching the 5th - 8th graders how to draw 3-D models also included learning how to code in JAVA. It turned out that using the free OpenJscad.com browser to teach 3-D drawing was a great introduction and preparation for learning more advanced work in JAVA.

I am using Fusion 360 as a 3D modeling program. It is a technical program, as in it isn't good for drawing models of people for instance. You can download it for free using the Starter Licence.

 

1 hour ago, MrMaint said:

The printer that we purchased for the club was a JGAurora for under $300. Yes, this is not the best printer out there, but it is safe (everything is behind a metal case) and it prints reasonably well.

We are currently trying to get the money for a Ultimaker 2 GO. It is a printer that is portable (we don't have a place to store it), it prints very well and we can show the kids what all the components do.

 

1 hour ago, MrMaint said:

Another free learning resource that I have successfully used is SoloLearn.com for very nicely done training in programming basics. They cover most of all the modern languages.

I will definitely look into this! We make our own lessons with a uniform template across all the type of lessons we create, and we translate other tutorials from English to Dutch if necessary. I'm going to look into the lessons they have and if they are useful for the kids we teach.

 

1 hour ago, MrMaint said:

I wish you great success! It looks like you have an ample supply of mentors in your program. That is an area that I am having trouble finding support. Any suggestions would be welcomed.

We got our mentors by advertising in local newspapers and contacting other clubs in the region if they had any mentors who would like to help at our club. I don't know if this is possible for you, but it helped us get a couple of volunteers.

 

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Thank you for the advice on finding volunteers. I hope you will find SoloLearn.com a useful reference.

 

Another idea for 3-D printing without a lot of cost is to check out the maker spaces in your area. The local teen center in my town has an Ultimaker2 that is available for about 4 days a month. They have a FormsLab as well, but it is far more expensive to use. I think the tool I use the most, though, is the 50 watt laser cutter. 

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