Socrates Academy (2013). Science Students Enhance Learning with Technology [Press release].
Retrieved from www.socratesacademy.us
Matthews, NC December 10, 2013 – New technology trends are sweeping the nation and Socrates Academy in Matthews, NC is no exception. Students in 7th and 8th grade Science classes have been experimenting with 3D printing, using a CubeX Duo.
Kris Dell, from Applied Software, Inc., the parent of an 8th grade student at Socrates Academy allowed the school to borrow the 3D printer. She demonstrates 3D printing at universities, high schools, and corporations throughout the Charlotte area. Dell came to the school to discuss the possible applications for and industries using this new technology.
The Socrates scholars were very excited about printing three-dimensional objects first hand, especially since they had been discussing some of the possibilities in class. Socrates Science students had just begun studying human anatomy and the fact that some day 3D printers could be used to print replacement organs and prosthetics.
“To be able to experience something so new and so relevant to the curriculum was nothing short of thrilling,” says George Latzos, middle school Science teacher at Socrates.
Students gained valuable knowledge and more importantly inspiration from this experience. They were so inspired that many returned to class the next day buzzing about videos they had watched about 3D printing on YouTube. Other students shared apps that they found on their mobile devices in which they could design 3D items for free.
The simple gesture of presenting a piece of new technology to students inspired discussion and engaged students to think critically and creatively. “It allowed the scholars to see that creation and invention don’t have to take place in a foreign country in some unknown factory, that the process is not out of reach,” states Latzos. “Instead, the scholars were able to see that manufacturing is a process that can occur in their own homes and that creativity and invention can be a reality and not an unattainable dream.”
Such hands-on experiences in class make the students the creators, the innovators, and the dreamers instead of the passive consumers of information. Having access to this technology established deeper critical thinking by enabling the students to become the engineers, architects, and designers with hands-on access to these tools.
“As an educator, nothing that I have done with my scholars sticks out more than something that was hands-on, relevant, current, and engaging,” says Latzos. “3D printing is one of those things and if we can place just one in every school, I think we can spark a new generation of ingenuity and innovation,” he concludes.
About Socrates Academy:
Socrates Academy is a North Carolina Public Charter School that opened its doors to less than 100 kindergarten and first grade students in the 2005-2006 academic year, and now offers classes in kindergarten through eighth grade to over 660 students. The mission of the Socrates Academy is to work in partnership with parents and the community to encourage students to reach their full potential by developing critical analytical thinking skills and becoming self-confident in a high achievement, multicultural, disciplined environment. Particular emphasis is placed on developing proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics both in English and Greek through the use of the Socratic method.
For more about Socrates Academy, please visit: www.socratesacademy.us