Preparing students for future jobs is an interesting thought. What are those jobs? Also, who has the experience necessary to do this? Educators often draw from their own learning experiences in K-12 and higher education to inform their instruction. What responsibility do they have in preparing today’s students for a future that they have no idea about themselves? This begs the question of how do we prepare students for the unimaginable jobs of the future?
The answer to this question is that we can’t teach them specific subjects or job skills. We can’t teach these skills because we don’t know what skills they will be. So what do we do and what do we teach them? We teach them STEAM skills that are integrated into the subject areas.
As a pediatrician, Marci Klein says, “we focus on healthy bodies, healthy minds, building self confidence and giving children a solid foundation. Likewise, as parents, we strive to give our children the tools they need to succeed. We want our children to be passionate about life, to become visionaries and innovators.” Marci is the Product Development Consultant of 3DuxDesigns and a pediatrician with more than 20 years of experience.
“A” students don’t ensure success!
I am an advocate of education, however we know this route isn’t for everyone. We must prepare ALL students for the future. Everyone knows the stories about how Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of university to become two of the richest people in the world, but many other successful people didn’t even get that far. Simon Cowell of America’s Got Talent dropped out of school at 16, before making a name for himself in the music industry. According to Biography.com, Spielberg was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film, and Television three times. He is now one of the most famous directors in the world, being the brains behind “E.T.,” “Jurassic Park,” “Indiana Jones,” and “Gremlins.” Cameron Diaz, one of Hollywood’s most sought after actresses, dropped out of school at age 16 to follow a modelling career, according to the IB Times. She is now one of the highest-paid actresses in the world. According to History.com, Albert Einstein was a terrible student. He hated the structure of school and the teachers. He dropped out at the age of 15 before going back to university after flunking the initial entrance exam.
Although, these aren’t necessarily my favorite people, they are all very successful individuals who weren’t “A” student success stories in school.
Why am I focusing on school dropouts and failures you ask. I’m not. I am focusing on unconventional life successes. This is true for the majority of millionaires and successful people in today’s society. My purpose is to point out to teachers that every future success is not that straight “A” student sitting in your classroom. We also must accept that the ways of old didn’t work for everyone then and they don’t work for everyone now. If anything, this is more true today than ever before.
Future ready students and unknown jobs of the future…
With unknown, unimaginable jobs in our future we need to encourage our students more than ever to become those visionaries and innovators. We need to teach them to be creative and give them the freedom to practice and develop this skill set.
An article from Getting Smart, states that innovative and design thinking must be a primary component of student learning in order to ensure life-readiness. In doing this, there are several themes that today’s educators find to be characteristic in implementing curriculum and pedagogy distinct from classroom experience of the past. Districts around the country are implementing programs focused on problem-based learning, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), social-emotional learning, and interdisciplinary deeper learning in order to provide students at home and in school with experiences, knowledge and attitudes in today’s classrooms to help them be successful in tomorrow’s world.
How is STEM Education Important?
According to STEAM Powered Family, the key component of STEM and STEAM is integration. Instead of teaching disciplines in independent subject silos, lessons are well rounded, project and inquiry based, with a focus on interdisciplinary learning. STEM and STEAM align with real world and real jobs. By teaching skills the way they will be used in the workforce, and the real world, we are equipping students with the true skills necessary for jobs of the future.
Resources for teaching STEAM
In education, our approach should be to facilitate learning in a way that emphasizes process over product, making sure to encourage creative thinking. We need to force students to address real-world issues and problems. Finding resources and lesson ideas to do such things while working within tight budget constraints can be an astronomical challenge for teachers.
This is where 3DuxDesign kits come in. Not every future skill comes from computers and technology. These kits are screen free and they teach creativity, design, and stewardship. These kits and the 3DuxDesign company solve these challenges. Their kits are affordable and focus on the future necessary STEAM and project based learning skills.
3DuxDesign modeling sets and online design challenges offer children an engaging and creative hands-on outlet to expand their imagination and explore solutions to global problems. Using cardboard as the raw material in the 3DuxDesign modeling system offers children the most versatile material that is limitless in form and possibilities.
At the core of future jobs is the skill set to be creative and able to critically think. Without the need for pre-set rules and instructions, children will learn to improvise, experiment, fail, reexamine, and succeed. These are the skill sets that will aid them through life challenges. The 3DuxDesign sets are elegantly simple and intuitive. These sets encourage children to study form, function, creativity and deductive thinking. 3DuxDesign’s lessons strategically teach students about their would, including various career opportunities by incorporating this into the projects.
Innovation is not only about learning from a textbook or on a screen. It’s also about creativity, design, the environment and people. It’s about being both inspired and empowered to design solutions to real world problems. These are the buzzwords in education today. These words and skill sets seem to be routinely linked to technology skills. Actually, at the core of future skills is innovation, critical thinking, and creative design/creative problem solving. This is where 3DuxDesign kits are a great choice.
Who is behind 3DuxDesign?
Sitting down with Marci Klein was a refreshing experience. I found it refreshing that they are in this together as a family. The Klein family is passionate about education, children, and environmental stewardship. 3DuxDesign was created with the premise that learning isn’t just about math and science, reading and writing—it’s about inspiring and engaging students with the passion to become life-long learners. Education is also about learning in the context of the real world, the arts, the environment and humanity. This product was developed by Marci’s two children, Ethan and Ayana Klein. Ethan is the designer and Ayanna is the artist. Ayanna’s passion for STEM combined with Ethan’s CAD and 3D printing abilities is what brought to life 3DuxDesign. Dr. Joseph Renzulli himself reached out to these two young people after they brought 3Dux to the market saying, “WOW, you have done exactly what I have been advocating in my work for the last 40 years.”
I loved speaking with Marci about their passion and philosophies related to education, as I found them to be in line with my own. 3Dux is not only a great product line but it is backed by a wonderful family!
What is 3DuxDesign?
3DuxDesign encourages children to imaginatively and practically think through solutions to real-world challenges by building structures and environments using the 3DuxDesign award-winning architectural modeling system. With a huge assortment of geometric forms and connectors engineered to fit most cardboard, children never run out of raw material to work with, create any shape they desire, and learn about creative repurposing while they build. 3DuxDesign unleashes the imagination and inspires the change-maker in every child.
These kits are highly versatile and practical. In addition, they offer a screen-free option for STEAM in the classroom, at home, or anywhere in between. I have used these kits in conjunction with the Birdbrain Hummingbird Bit Kits. I had my students investigate their personal strengths and weaknesses and the end project required them to create a robot to assist them with one of their identified weaknesses. They used the 3DuxDesign kit to create the outer aspects of the robot and the Hummingbird Bit Kit for the inner robotic workings. By combining these two, the project took on a whole new level of creativity and increased the skill level.
This goes to show that 3DuxDesign kits can be used as stand alone kits with their included lesson plans, you can create your own plans to use with them, or you can incorporate them with other things to create a whole new kind of kit. The sky is the limit! If you can imagine it, 3DuxDesign kits can achieve it! This also makes them appropriate for a wide variety of ages depending on your personal plans for the kits.
Beyond the kits…
3DuxUniversity is an online project-based learning hub which gives educators the tools to make the most of the 3Dux modeling sets in the classroom or with students at home. Together with a diverse, passionate community of thought leaders committed to inspiring the next generation of innovators, 3Dux provides a wide range of open-ended design challenges ranging from play-based after-school activities to standards-aligned interdisciplinary curricula. By connecting aspiring youth with these scholars and experts in the fields of architecture, engineering, sustainability, art and design, children will have a more authentic learning experience and at the same time gain the wisdom and empathy that may be at risk in an increasingly plugged-in world.
In addition to the 3DuxUniversity, they have a project called Global Futures. The Global Futures Design Lab is an interdisciplinary unit that connects students to the world using a design thinking process and 3D modeling materials. Students explore and celebrate culture, community and the environment as they collaborate to design and build solutions to real world problems. They offer the opportunity to engage in live interactions with educators from around the world. This is a unique opportunity that I found quite interesting and very educational. I loved the aspect of TRUE Global Collaboration! This is something that I have been recently seeking out. ISTE speaks about it but actually achieving this is much more difficult. 3Dux’s Global Futures project has done it! Global Futures is a gifted teachers’ dream come true! Be sure to check it out.
Real World Problems and Solutions, Such as Environmental Stewardship
Not only are they construction sets that teach stewardship, they are a company that practices it. Their connectors are made using additive technology and organic material, making them safe for your children and the environment. Additionally, they create lesson plans that teach environmental stewardship. Take a look at these few examples in the images below. They are part of what you get when you purchase the kits.
Get them off the screens while still teaching STEAM!
These kits allow teachers and parents to take kids off the screen while still developing and teaching the STEAM and creative problem solving skills. People that know me, know that I have a passion for STEAM and Project Based Learning. They also know what a technology geek I can be. However, I feel strongly that many kids spend too much time in front of a screen. This product is an excellent alternative that still fits the bill for all the crucial areas of development. After all, shouldn’t a pediatrician know this best?
How do you know kids will LOVE playing and learning with 3Dux?
Because it was designed by kids, for kids. Teen siblings, Ayana and Ethan Klein designed the architectural modeling system as a way to make STEAM education more accessible, more creative, and more fun. Creating a solution to the limitations of on-the-market modeling sets, the teens designed 3DuxDesign modeling system to allow students to incorporate up-cycled cardboard boxes with the idea that cardboard is accessible to all, free form in nature, and sustainable. Not to mention the savings from endless rolls of duct tape and hot glue guns. Beyond these obvious advantages, the reusable connecting system allows students the freedom to reimagine and redesign their projects, a critical aspect of the design thinking process and something intentionally included in all of the 3DuxDesign lessons and design challenges.
How do you use 3DuxDesign kits?
I use 3DuxDesign in my classroom and have for the past two years. It is very versatile and effective. I mentioned one of my creative ways to use this product earlier in this article in reference to the Hummingbird Bit Kits incorporation. With all of the lesson plans and resources offered by 3DuxDesign, the possibilities are endless! There is something for everyone in every classroom. They offer a wide range of products to fit any budget or interest level.
Some of my favorite lesson plans from their site, in addition to the two I mentioned about stewardship (pictured above) are: