By Matter and Form

What if your students could learn about economics through toys?

What if they created a phone speaker for a loved one with hearing loss?

Or used a device created 5000 years ago to tell a story about their lives today?

Or learned history, strategy and sculpting while playing a board game?

What if your students could prove once and for all that not all screen time was created equal?

Here’s How

These questions, and others like them, are a different way of looking at education. Rote memorization is no longer the focus of many classrooms. Instead, schools are striving to teach how to identify and use information properly, and to think critically.

A popular modern solution is STEAM learning. Combining art, design, science, technology, engineering and math into one integrated set of problem-solving tools, STEAM strives to demonstrate how the best solutions arrive from considering a problem from multiple viewpoints. STEAM fosters critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration skills while building a solid foundation of knowledge.

STEAM shows students how to turn information into knowledge and how to apply that knowledge with wisdom.

STEAM is More Than Just Technology

All too often, technology that is supposed to make STEAM “happen,” doesn’t. The reason is simple: STEAM isn’t about learning a specific technology! For example, learning how to code or how to use a 3D printer are great activities, but neither they nor any other technology can magically just deliver the STEAM set of problem-solving tools.

To successfully implement STEAM in the classroom requires guidance on how to integrate technology as a part of a larger, encompassing solution. STEAM is not just the “T” for Technology, you also need the other parts, the Science, Engineering, Art and Math!

We’ve written before about how to implement STEAM in every subject. There are lots of ways to do it. Project-based learning, the engineering design process, experimenting and learning from mistakes, teaching in real-world contexts, exposing students to relevant social, economic and environmental matters. Giving students something to get excited about with a hands-on, tangible learning experience. These are the answers!

How Can Matter and Form Help?

Matter and Form 3D scanners are an exciting, easy and powerful introduction to an emerging technology. A Matter and Form scanner can provide renewed purpose to a dormant 3D printer, and is a perfect fit for engaging lessons in art, the humanities, math and engineering.

But we know just having the scanner isn’t enough. That’s why we collaborated with professional educators to develop our STEAM project lesson plans. These provide meaningful, standards-aligned, step-by-step access to the same 3D tools used every day in modern industries from architecture to medicine. From Coin Banks to Russian Nesting Dolls, Phone Holders to Custom Lego™ Bricks, some of our favorite projects are:

Project Spotlight: Mesopotamian Cylinder Seals

Our Mesopotamian Cylinder Seals project captivates learners with a glimpse into how ancient people used unique stamps to certify their identity and “signature” on important documents. Asking them to connect this history to their current world, students are tasked with designing and creating their own personal cylinder seal. Students will not only have fun designing the imagery and aesthetic of their cylinder seal, they’ll also engage in authentic prototype design and creation, with a mindset of creating a usable product.

After testing their design, they’ll have a chance to critique the work of others with a goal of improving everyone’s project. This spurs not only an authentic creativity, but also a sense of collaboration and community. By connecting a personal tool from an ancient civilization to their identity today, students engage in meaningful learning while enjoying the tasks at hand.

Project Spotlight: Surprise Gift Egg Box

Perfect for cultivating an entrepreneurial spirit in your class, the “Surprise Gift Egg Box,” offers students the opportunity to study the most popular toys in recent history and design their own surprise gift egg box – a series of custom-shaped, nested gift boxes with a surprise toy inside. Students will integrate critical skills of entrepreneurship, such as creativity, collaboration, problem solving when there’s no definite answer, teamwork, and more – all while mastering technical skills.

Looking for commonalities and trends among the most popular toys from previous years, students will discuss the sales potential of their toy and offer feedback to their classmates. Imagine your students’ excitement and sense of accomplishment at designing and developing their own toy with the potential for future production to sell at events or the school store.

Project Spotlight: Toy Repair and Modification

In this career-skills focused project, students learn and practice the working methods of engineers, designers and other professionals. After discussing different kinds of broken structures, students consider how modifications or repairs can breathe new life into an old or broken toy.

After 3D printing the repair part, students test it and make recommendations for future iterations, mimicking how real engineering is done, and introducing them to how problem solving through prototyping works.

Out in the “Real World

Matter and Form scanners have been used to make video games, make AR presentations, recognize and question artificial boundaries, and solve ancient Greek mysteries . You can even use our free AR viewer for iOS. We could not be prouder of the many amazing things our customers have done with their 3D scanners!

Not Just Another Technology Toy

Technology is great, but it’s not a replacement for art, science, math and the humanities. Matter and Form recognizes this and has responded by providing a technology tool that can be applied to all learning areas, supported by project plans that provide a methodology to promote critical thinking, hands-on knowledge building, creativity and collaboration.

Here’s What Students and Teachers Think about Matter and Form 3D Scanners

STEAM Success is Your Students’ Success

Modern STEAM learning with Matter and Form promotes critical thinking, communication, creativity, collaboration. These are the tools of problem solving. The tools of innovation. The tools of applied knowledge. The tools to approach life with a mind open to possibility and opportunity.

These are the tools that invent electric cars, create communication systems connecting opposite sides of a continent, develop vaccinations in record time, equip young people to step up as leaders, inspire a generation, and fix societal problems.

At Matter and Form, we use these tools to invent products, delight customers, provide opportunities for our employees, and create value in our community. Since we started in 2013, forward-thinking teachers have reached out to us to learn how they can use our 3D scanners to create positive student outcomes.

To join them, contact us!