Welcome to a new regular series on our blog, Makerspace Math. This series will focus on the “M” in STEAM, offering practical tips, tutorials, and ideas for incorporating math education into your makerspace.
How 3D Printers Can Help With Math Education
One of the most amazing things about 3D printing is its ability to make intangible concepts tangible. 3D printers can be an essential tool for making often abstract mathematical concepts seem more “real” to learners, allowing them to get hands on with math.
3D Printed Math Spinner: With a classroom 3D printer, you could mass-produce these handy math spinners. These handy tools allow learners to create multiplication tables that allow them to practice math using their hands.
Visualizing Mathematical Equations: One of the best parts of 3D printers is there ability to make abstract things into tangible realities. Check out the video below showing a 3D printed demonstration of parabolic manipulation. With 3D printing you can put abstract mathematical concepts directly into a student’s hands.
Budgeting: One of the questions students always ask us is, “How much does that 3D print cost?” Use this question as a teachable moment. Have student weigh different 3D prints and then tell them how much a spool of filament costs. For more advanced students this could even turn into a conversation about how much electricity the 3D printer uses and how the cost of electricity is calculated.
How have you seen 3D printers used in math education? Do you have out-of-the-box ideas for how this emerging technology can transforms traditional math education? Share your ideas with us – we’d love to hear them!
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