Five reasons why learning 3D printing today will help children prepare for the future

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In my earlier blogs, I covered the advice of education leaders Salman Khan, Founder of the Khan Academy, and Dr. Neil Gershenfeld, founder of the Centre for Bits & Atoms (CBA) at MIT. They both encourage discovery and creativity. Dr. Gershenfeld specifically noted the expressiveness of 3D printing. Now I want to add my own five reasons why learning 3D printing today will help children get ready for their own technology infused future.

  1. Getting a head start as the tech will “mature” about the time our children enter the workforce. 3D printers are just beginning to make usable parts. HP’s long awaited Multi-Jet Fusion technology just hit the market this year. Its thermoplastic material, which you can see in this video, is strong enough to pick up a car. In 10-15 years time, 3D printers will be far more advanced, likely linked to AI software, but still in need of the human touch. This is where and when our children will take the controls.
  2. It will be used in many different industries. Automotive, medical, electronics, toys, even food are just a few examples. Let your child design something today from any of these industries and perhaps they can find something they love for a lifetime! If you don’t try it, you’ll never know.

3D Roundhouse’s Family 3D Printing Workshops

  1. 3D designs help children think out of the box. Children are naturals at creating pictures with crayons and paper. Imagine how much more creative they can be if that design is in 3D instead. On top of this, they can realize their designs on a 3D printer.
  2. It can promote teamwork. While I really enjoy reinforcing the bond I have with my daughter whenever we corroborate on a new design, I believe she is also learning about teamwork. I have my own strengths and weaknesses and she has her own. We try different ideas until we get to the desired result. (OK I admit most of the 3D prints end up in her favorite pink color, but I think it’s just a phase!)

Elizabeth’s pink bow

  1. It helps them define their own likes and dislikes. 3D printing is all about customization. As children grow, it’s sometimes difficult to know what’s favorable to them and what’s not. Using a computer to design an actual object, children can run as many trials and errors as they want, until they find their very own sweet spot. Self-definition is a key part of growing up. As Shakespeare said, “To thine own self be true!”

PARENTS, THE FUTURE IS FOR YOU TOO!

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What if you could enjoy the future as much as your children? What if you could stay young longer than you think? And, what if you had already the best tool to do just that?

DO GOOD FOR YOUR CHILDREN

Many parents think their mission is to prepare their children for the future. Good or Bad? Of course Good!!!

Many parents think they will get older and their brain will decline too. Good or Bad? Of course Bad!!!

DO GOOD FOR YOURSELF

We, the parents, can choose to let our bodies get older faster or we can choose to do some physical and mental activities to stay in shape (or get back in shape 😉 ) and choose wisely what is good to eat and to drink. The big majority of us will live longer than our parents. Many of us will reach the age of 100. Personally, I prefer to get there in shape, both physically and mentally.

090903-N-5726E-083 SAN DIEGO (Sept. 3, 2009) Fred Fusilier, lead personal trainer at Naval Medical Center San Diego, leads a fitness aerobics class during the Health and Wellness Department Fitness Expo. The event featured health and wellness educational booths and various exercise classes offered at Naval Medical Center San Diego. (U.S. Navy photo by Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Sean Evans/Released)

ENJOY YOUR LIFE AND YOUR CHILDREN

And you know what is the best part in it? You will enjoy your life much more and your children will enjoy YOU much more too! You spend so much time helping them grow well and hope for the best for their future. Do you think it will help them to have an old dad or an old mum to take care of? Don’t you think it could be much fun for them, and for YOU, if they have younger parents?

We all agree that our children have to become LIFE LONG LEARNERS. Everything evolve much faster than when you and I were kids. Many fields, especially technological ones, change in much less than a year. To keep adding value in what our kids will do, they will have to learn new things continuously. So do we, parents.

YOU ARE OLDER THAN YOUR CHILDREN BUT…

Some of you are probably thinking “What? I have to learn new things every month or even every week or day??? Come on, I am not a student anymore. I am too old for that…..”

Do you? Yes…… and No.

Yes, because their brains learn faster than yours.

No, because your brain is not like many of you think it is. Your brain is not fixed. Your brain is not deteriorating day after day since you became adult. Your brain is plastic. Yes, plastic! And I don’t mean, “Made of plastic”. I mean that it still can change everyday, in the good or bad way. If you use it and stimulate it very often (every day is the best) by learning new things like a student do, you can still create thousands of new connections and even new neurons.

USE YOUR BRAIN EVEN MORE THAN USUAL

The rule is really simple. It’s USE IT or LOSE IT! If you stimulate your brain and do regular physical and mental exercise, you will enjoy your life much more, you will enjoy your children much more AND they will enjoy YOU much more too!

Don’t worry, I will get back to that subject very soon with simple and effective tools you will be able to use in order to stay young outside and inside your head.

Enjoy Your Future, enjoy Your Life!