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The PICO Journey: The Importance of Additive Manufacturing in STEM Education

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The world of STEM demands a different way of thinking. It teaches you how to explore, how to break the rules, how to encounter a problem and find a solution, rather than find defeat. The world of additive manufacturing demands the same. As the world continues to drastically evolve and new technologies are created, it is imperative that we are providing students with the design and manufacturing tools and skills to evolve with the world. Education is no longer about providing the correct answer. Education today is about creating tools for problem solving, exploring the best options for your desired outcome, and approaching each problem from an interdisciplinary approach. Localized manufacturing technologies such as additive manufacturing allow us to prototype quickly, test hypotheses, make alterations and produce solutions at a fraction of the time, cost and environmental impact. This mindset at its core is translatable across industries and will encourage young learners today to be independent problem solvers of the future.

Learning Objectives:

  • Have a clear understanding of the interdisciplinary benefits that an additive manufacturing education can provide.
  • Begin strategizing how to implement additive manufacturing practices, skills, and tools into their classroom, educational program, or lifestyle.