What if your students could learn about economics through toys?

Created a phone speaker for a loved one with hearing loss?

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

Learned history, strategy and sculpting while playing a board game?

Proved once and for all that not all screen time was created equal?

Here’s How

No one believes that 1800s pedagogy, or even pre-web late 1900s pedagogy, is the right choice for learning today. Rote memorization is not a useful educational goal. It doesn’t matter if you have memorized who the 11th, 23rd or 31st presidents were – that information is available in 10 seconds. What really matters is developing the skills to use that information properly in a broader context.

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.

But How Do I Implement STEAM in a Classroom?

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! Learning to code and 3D print are great skills, but neither they nor any other technology by itself can magically just deliver the STEAM set of problem-solving tools.

To successfully implement STEAM in the classroom requires guidance and a plan.

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 none of that will happen without guidance. That’s why Matter and Form 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.

Out in the 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


Your Success is Our 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!