Union City Schools Beefs up STEAM Efforts with 3D Printing
New Jersey's Union City School District (UCSD) has adopted 3D printing technology as part of a district-wide science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) curriculum.
Marcos Navas, technology facilitator at the district, "scales a design-thinking model to work within the district's number of STEAM initiatives," according to a news release. "From project-based lessons in STEAM curriculum to summer-long STEAM camps, Navas facilitates 'making' in projects big and small."
"STEAM is not a separate subject or time set aside for students to play with kits and tools," Navas said in a prepared statement. "It's embedded into all curricula, so students can explore practical solutions for real-world problems."
Navas has been introducing Dremel's Idea Builder 3D printer as a tool for students to visualize concepts or work through more practical problems and to help teachers bridge the gap between STEAM their existing curriculum and project-based learning.
The Title I district has a 98-percent minority enrollment and a large proportion of English language learners. Navas said he "believes 3D printing gives students the freedom to rethink and tinker, consequently capturing new perspectives applicable beyond the classroom," according to a news release.
"As an educator, it's a powerful moment to watch students proudly showcase what they've made and accomplished," Navas said in a prepared statement. "I've seen students from rigorous problem-solvers and take learning past the limits."
Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].