MakerBot Education is supporting STEMulate Learning research at #SciFund!

Due to public interest surrounding my project in the #SciFund Challenge Round 2, my STEMulate Learning program has come to the attention of MakerBot Industries – the creators of the wonderful Replicator 3D printer!

Logo for MakerBot Industries

After speaking with me about the STEMulate Learning program and my research, MakerBot Education (curriculum.makerbot.com) is providing me with a Replicator for use in designing and testing the robots for my research into the benefits of personalized, customized robotics in teaching kids about STEM subjects. (STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)

The #SciFund Challenge is currently concluding its second day and will run through May 31st, but MakerBot’s support will now allow me to focus crowd-funding donations beyond simply getting the printer for design and testing. Instead, my supporters (called “fuelers” at the RocketHub hosting site) will make it possible to get the electronic components needed to turn lifeless robot statues into moving, functional robots!

This was originally planned for the next step for my research (#SciFund Round 3 anyone?) but because of the attention from fuelers and MakerBot’s wonderful support, I will be able to start working with children directly as soon as I complete the designs and test them for safety! This accelerates my research timetable by a year and means we will get robots into kids’ hands much sooner – but that is not all!

MakerBot‘s Education program is pursuing the same idea my own research was based on – creating classroom lessons and 3D printable materials that could be downloaded by teachers for their classes. They have invited me to join with their expanding group of public schools that will be testing many different ideas about integrating 3D printable learning aids into the classroom. Once I have the robot designs completed and tested locally in STEMulate Learning workshops, I will be able to engage other educators already in schools to assist in performing my research across a much larger group of students. (In research, larger data samples give more accurate results from experiments!)

I am thrilled at this opportunity – one that was made possible by my public supporters, whether they provided monetary “fuel” for the project or not. My personal thanks go out to MakerBot‘s CEO, Bre Pettis, and the Coordinator for their Educational Outreach program, Lizabeth Arun, who have been absolutely amazing in their support of my research. The work that MakerBot is doing with schools through the Education program promises to enrich learning environments for our kids everywhere!

Main SOLID Learning Post: http://www.stemulate.org/2012/05/05/solid-learning/

#SciFund Round 2 is only just beginning and I have already been able to jump a year ahead in my research, so keep up the support (we still need the electonic “guts” for the robots!), let your friends and followers know about this research, and spend some time looking through the many fantastic projects at RocketHub!

#SciFund at RocketHub: http://www.rockethub.com/projects/scifund

My #SciFund Projects this year:

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