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Ditching Textbooks to Offer Hands-On Learning with MyStemKits

 

In today’s education landscape, more and more schools are adopting emerging
technologies to help prepare their students for success in their future careers. School districts, administrators, and individual teachers alike are looking to bring cutting edge solutions into the classroom in order to foster a more hands-on,
collaborative learning environment that will give the students of today an edge that will prepare them for the rapidly multiplying STEM-based careers of
the future.

Ninamarie Sapuppo, a middle and high school Math teacher, is determined to
provide her students with an engaging learning experience. She knows that when her students are able to fully grasp a new concept, they feel empowered and excited about math, and are better prepared to excel in higher-level courses. Ms. Sapuppo tells us that one of the main challenges of teaching math is that each subject is often siloed and that the students struggle to see the connections between different concepts and between math and the other subjects, such as science, engineering, and technology.

"As long as we want students to be actively involved in understanding mathematics and its relationship to other STEM fields, I think 3D printing curriculum is a huge opportunity. Understanding requires immersion and there is nothing like hands-on learning to promote understanding."

This was one of the many reasons Ms. Sapuppo decided that MyStemKits was the right solution for her classroom. MyStemKits features the world’s largest library of 3D printable K-12 STEM curriculum, all of which are standards-driven to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core standards. Developed by leading STEM researchers at Florida State University and extensively tested by over 2000+ teachers at 300+ schools, MyStemKits offers over 240 lessons, many of which include teacher guides, student assessments, 10+ page lesson plans, student activities/handouts, and 3D printable learning aids. Ms. Sapuppo did initially have a few reservations about how best to incorporate MyStemKits and a 3D printer into her classroom, but her excitement about the potential benefits to her students inspired her to press on with the experiment.

"Using the MyStemKits website was very easy. It's simple to navigate, there are several ways to find lessons, and the website has fantastic clear visuals that give you an idea of what to expect. I thought it was going to be much more complicated. It was really pretty simple."

During the course of her 22 years as a teacher, Ms. Sapuppo came to realize that her students often didn’t connect well with textbook-based curriculum. She found that reading alone was not an effective way for her students to really absorb the material, and when it came time for testing, she noticed that their retention was simply not there. After getting started with MyStemKits, Ms. Sapuppo implemented five different kits into her regular curriculum. She starts the lessons off by explaining the topic of the lesson so that students have a basic idea of what to expect, then, after the 3D manipulatives are printed, Ms. Sapuppo executes on the activities included with the kit. She mentions that she is consistently impressed at how the questions included with each lesson seem to really draw out the students’ understanding of the material. The questions encourage her students to think critically about each completed activity, and help them make relevant connections to previously-discussed math topics.

"Textbooks are outdated. With MyStemKits, my students get a lot deeper understanding about different math concepts using hands-on 3D printable models, all while working together in a collaborative environment."

One of the major benefits of using MyStemKits was that it saved Ms. Sapuppo a lot of time developing curriculum herself, and has helped her make the most out of each class period. She enjoys teaching the lesson plans because she’s seeing greater engagement from her students, and she can rest assured knowing that each MyStemKits lesson has been fully researched and tested by experts.

"The students are really motivated to focus now. Especially the lower 25% who normally lack the attention span, they're like 'Okay, I got to get this.' That empowerment has made a huge difference."

Now, when Ms. Sapuppo’s students hear that there is something being 3D printed, they get excited about learning. As an educator, she feels as though she has made a genuine impact with her students and their understanding of math. MyStemKits and the 3D printer give her students extra motivation to learn, and the collaboration and critical thinking elements of it all helps them to retain the information from the lessons.

"They're really answering questions at a much higher level thought process. Their retention is much better. Students at the end are like, 'Oh, this is so much easier!' I've done some other activities before, but MyStemKits is more like the whole package."

 

 


About Robo + MyStemKits

Robo is a company based in San Diego, California, USA, focused on the design and distribution of 3D printers and associated products for the desktop segment of the 3D printing industry. Robo’s smart and easy-to-use 3D printers, which are perfectly suited for education with Wi-Fi connectivity, Chromebook compatibility, and enhanced safety features, deliver a true end-to-end 3D printing solution for education alongside MyStemKits curriculum.


MyStemKits is the owner of the world’s largest online library of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) curriculums with 3D printable kits for
K-12 schools, all developed to meet Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Together, Robo is poised to
create more opportunities for 3D printing within education to allow students to innovate, collaborate, and advance their project-based learning skills.


Who

Ninamarie Sapuppo

Middle and High School Math Teacher

Benefits

Increase in student engagement

Connecting various mathematics concepts

Student retention

Saves time with pre-made lessons

Kits Used

Bunnies Kit

Gliders Kit

Golden Ratio Kit

Box Plot Kit

Lionfish Kit

Density Shapes Kit

Ball Bearing Catapult Kit

Moths Kit

Sliced Geometric Primitives: Cones Kit

Sliced Geometric Primitives: Cubes Kit

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