The workshop curriculum presents a story about humans settling City X, the first city on a new planet. Students are paired with fictional citizens of City X who present various challenges they are facing, relating to social issues like environment, education, health, and safety.
It’s up to the students to create and prototype imaginative inventions to solve these problems. Students learn about the design process and are introduced to 3D modeling and printing technologies as a way to create prototypes of their inventions and, where a 3D printer is available, actually produce 3D-printed models.
3D printers are capable of using additive manufacturing technologies to take a digital model and produce a physical, three-dimensional object. Many 3D printers cost less than $1,000 and fit on a small desk.
“3D printing is redefining possibilities for countless industries but it’s still new to education,” said IDEAco’s Director of Innovation, Libby Falck. “We wanted to create a purpose-driven curriculum that would enable kids to create without limits by introducing them to this incredible technology.”
“Sponsoring the City X Project helps us reach a new generation of makers, providing them with tomorrow’s workforce skills today,” said 3D Systems CEO Avi Reichental.
During their initial year of testing, the City X Project ran 17 workshops, including 12 across the United States, as well as workshops in Hungary, Lebanon, and Singapore.
“We wanted to create a truly globally tested curriculum,” said IDEAco CEO Brett Schilke, “and we’ve made countless tweaks to the workshop based on our experiences with almost 600 kids. We couldn’t be more excited to finally enable anyone to run this workshop.”
For United States educators, the workshop has been aligned to several English Language and Mathematics Common Core State Standards, thanks to support from the Pearson Foundation.