MyStemKits announced an international expansion of its 3D printing kits and curriculum, which could eventually lead to breakthroughs in 3D print use worldwide.
MyStemKits is a US-based organization that provides educational packages for students and teachers to learn about 3D design and print in the classroom. We’ve written about them previously when they launched larger quantities of kits to their academic audiences.
They explain the service here:
We are a team of educators, innovators, parents, and technology specialists dedicated to making affordable, quality education available for all. And we’re doing it using some of the most cutting-edge technology available. We’re redefining 3D printing and giving it a clear use and purpose in the math and science classroom by providing educators with the tools they need to succeed. No longer with your 3DPrinter site in a box collection dust!
Since 2013, we have researched and developed this program and are proud to offer an unparalleled collection containing hundreds of lesson plans and manipulatives so that we have something for everyone. We have the most comprehensive STEM solution in the market.
What makes these highly engaging kits interesting is that they develop the curriculum and the kit itself at the same time, ensuring they make sense together. In other words, these are kits with a purpose. And they’re focused on all aspects of STEM.
These 3D printing kits are also very low cost compared to some options available to educators.
But up to now, they’ve really only been available in the USA, where they have proven quite popular. According to MyStemKits, they’ve produced over 150,000 kits and have over 1,500 teachers using them. That’s impressive.
But their latest announcement has them delivering 3D printing kits to 600 schools in the UAE. That’s very significant, as the product is funded by subscription, per student.
However, if MyStemKits wishes to proceed with further international expansion, as I hope they do, they will have to confront the issue of language and culture differences, which could slow their progress as they localize their offerings.
This is probably bad news for some desktop 3D printer manufacturers, who, in a move to maintain revenue after the consumer 3D printing crash of 2014-15, moved into the educational markets. Typically these operations would produce learning aids, build kits, projects and the like, in an attempt to woo scholastic buyers their way.
It’s likely that the MyStemKits educational content is superior to that from some 3D printer vendors, whose business is making printers, not making educational curriculums.
But schools already subscribed to MyStemKits could dramatically reduce the dependence on a specific 3D printer vendor, opening up the possibility of increased competition for machinery in schools.
Nevertheless, the added presence of proper 3D design and print training within schools will certainly boost the 3D industry of the future, as students who graduate will already be equipped with the idea of designing objects and producing them.