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How can students as young as 8 years old can learn almost anything even 3D printing?

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We conducted School Holiday Program focusing on 3D Printing for students as young as 8 years old. But they are so young, can they really learn all these things? Isn’t it too hard for the students? Yes, it is possible for them to learn. I am going to break it down for you on how students can learn almost anything.

Start small

I know it can be very intimidating even for adults to get started with 3D printing. Start small. Focus only on 1-2 main concepts in an hour lesson. You always want to lower down your success threshold when you want to learn something new. Students will get more excited to continue to do more difficult and challenging things. It is how a game is designed to get you play with it. Remember, you normally don’t need to learn how to play a game because it is always simple at the beginning. We can apply the same thing for students to learn something new as well.

Hands-on and experiential learning

Hands-on and experiential learning is important to explain brand new abstract concept for students to understand better. There are a lot of concepts that is really hard to explain using chalk and blackboard. For example, 2D and 3D concepts. It is hard for students to visualise shapes in three dimensions (3D). How can we teach 3D printing when they cannot understand what is 3D? That’s why we pulled back a few steps before introducing 3D modeling and 3D printing for students. We introduced fischer TiPs for students to be hands-on and build a 3D prototype. We can even explain the concept of 3D printing using fischer TiPs. Hands-on learning helps to simplify complicated concepts for the students.

Immediate feedback and results

How do the students know that they have learnt it? That’s why it is important to have an immediate feedback and results for them to know. Games have a great feedback mechanism for the players to know whether they can proceed to the next level. In schools, we have practice questions and homework to check our understanding. For 3D printing, it can provide fast feedback for students during printing. Students can understand why their designs do not work and why is it failed. This is the time when students can learn from their mistake and they can redesign & improve their model. Grit and resilience are normally cultivated at this stage.


Conclusion

It is not impossible for students to learn something difficult (for example 3D printing), we just need to make it easier for students to understand and engaged throughout the lesson.

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