3D printing continues to inspire STEM—or, increasingly, STEAM (Science & Technology interpreted through Engineering & the Arts).
Kids Are the Key
Kids are just starting to use simple, inexpensive, consumer-grade 3D printers today. They are the early adopters, and machines that are good enough today will become better, faster, and capable of making more things. Kids will not only grow up with the technology, the technology will grow up with the kids because they will contribute to its advancement. Today’s young innovators will 3D print our future. To some extent, they will learn by using their own machines, teaching themselves, and improving the machines as they go. But they will also need access to advanced machines, processes, and materials. Schools and governments are beginning to pave the roads that kids will follow, from printing toys at home today to making high-tech parts and products in the factories of tomorrow.
Turn on the STEAM
There is a lot of talk about the importance of STEM education. Recently, the issue became hotter when STEM became STEAM: Science & Technology interpreted through Engineering & the Arts, all based in Math. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States will have about 9.2 million STEM jobs in 2020. But according to the National Science Foundation, there will not be enough qualified graduates to fill those jobs. Geopolitical expert George Freedman believes the United States will have a severe labor shortage beginning no later than 2020, which will accelerate in that decade. Read More…