Konica Minolta Partners with STEAMtrax for 3D-Printing Curriculum

steamtraxKonica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. reports that it’s partnered with STEAMtrax, which markets what it calls the first and only 3D printing STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) curriculum available that integrates engineering and 3D-printing technology with science, math, language arts, social studies, and art. Konica Minolta will sell STEAMtrax sold in conjunction with 3D Systems’ 3D printers that Konica Minolta began marketing in June 2014 (see our story here).

According to Konica Minolta, one of the biggest paradigm shifts for engineers of all ages is moving from thinking and planning a project design in 2D, to visualizing and building a completed project in 3D. It says each STEAMtrax lesson starts with a real-world problem and children have to create a solution to solve the problem. Hands-on kits are used to learn the science behind the solution and build a prototype with hands-on materials before testing the design on the 3D printer. Each kit includes science equipment and materials needed for classroom set-up to implement the module activities for up to 32 students, and can be re-used. Each lesson embeds the engineering design process and is designed to be integrated as a supplement to current science programs or to provide enrichment for after school or summer programs.

The modules align to NGSS or state standards, and can be completed in approximately 20-25 teaching hours. Students, teachers, and administrators access the modules digitally through the STAR (Student, Teacher, Administrator, Resources) portal. The teacher guide provides detailed notes for instruction, reproducible masters, guided-facilitation questions, materials management, and teacher-background information. Students also have access to engaging and rigorous digital activities that teachers can use as formative assessments to check for understanding of concepts.

The High School modules are currently under development and will be launching this month.

STEAMtrax launched nationally in January 2015 with a new interactive Web site, as well as with a teacher/student portal, and has been implemented in over 60 schools in U.S. states such as New Jersey, New York, Texas, Maryland, Ohio, North Carolina, and Oregon, as well as in Poland and the United Arab Emirates. Approximately 20,000 students have engaged with STEAMtrax Engineering curriculum, hands-on kits, and 3D-printing technology.

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