I have been fascinated by 3D printing technology since I first heard about it years ago. I’ve never had the opportunity to see or use a 3D printer, but I’ve read about them and enjoy learning about all that is possible with a 3D printer.
From medical applications (such as prosthetics), to automobile spare parts and engines, we are starting to see the sky is the limit for what this technology is capable of producing.
I was recently contacted by Pitsco Education to review one of their education products on the blog, and I was thrilled to try the 3Doodler Start with my kids! Pitsco Eduction provides STEM education resources to educators all over the world. They create both hands-on activities and lesson plans to help integrate STEM into the classroom.
Pitsco’s mission is “Leading education that positively affects learners.” They have been a positive resource in getting STEM education into classrooms around the country for decades. I strongly support their work and passion for providing a fun and effective STEM education to students.
The 3Doodler Start is an innovative 3D printing pen that allows kids to bring their drawings and ideas to life in 3D. It uses low heat, but it’s not hot to the touch, and the printing plastic is BPA-free and non-toxic.
It reminds me of a hot glue gun, but it won’t burn you (does anyone else burn themselves every time they use their hot glue gun?!?). It uses colorful plastic instead of glue, and it has a much finer tip than a typical glue gun, to allow kids to make more detailed drawings and structures.
I received the 3Doodler Start Teacher Experience Kit. It came with the Start 3D Pen, a DoodleBlock, Start Plastic, and some activity and lesson plan samples. The pen was easy to charge, turn on and add the plastic, and both my kids have no trouble doing this.
The 3Doodler Start is recommended for children age 6+. My son is almost 5, and enjoyed this pen, but I can see how one more year would have improved his ability to create more detailed structures with it.
The sample activities and lesson plans were so helpful. We didn’t really know what to create or draw with our pen, so it was a great starting place. I can see how this would be a great resource for teachers because it gives them detailed activities and plans to do with the students using their 3Doodler.
I went to the 3Doodler website, and they have lots of free tutorials, tips, and stencils. There are so many great ideas on there, and they instructions and helpful stencils to get you started making amazing 3D creations. I was shocked and amazed to see the wide variety of things that are possible to create with this 3D pen.
I decided to keep it simple as we get used to using the pen. We started by tracing stars on our placemat. Then we tried writing our names following a simple tutorial provided in our start pack.
Next, we started building more advanced 3D structures like a cube. This was more challenging for my son, so he watched and learned while I attempted to create the cube. 🙂
I think this would be a valuable tool in any classroom, but it is also great for personal use with your kids at home if you aren’t lucky enough to have them in your child’s classroom.
It is fairly affordable to purchase on the 3Doodler site for individual use. For classroom or group use, Pitsco Education offers a larger 3Doodler Start Learning Pack for $349.00 for students in grades 3-8 as well as 3Doodler Create+ Learning Packs that offers students the opportunity to expand their learning and/or invites older learners (grades 6-12) to take part in the fun too.
I plan to share my 3Doodler Start with my son’s Kindergarten teacher when he starts school in the fall. I hope this will inspire her and other teachers within my son’s school to look into providing more STEM projects for the kids.
I highly recommend sharing Pitsco Education’s site and products with your schools too. I strongly believe that more STEM resources in our children’s schools, will mean better education for all our kids. 🙂