Teachers Help Children Understand Math Using 3D Printed “Manipulatives”

A hands on approach is what a group of Californian teachers like to use, they are using what they call “manipulatives”, toys and tools to help their students to learn, by using 3D printing education techniques. A group of developers from the MIND Research Institute, which is a not-for-profit educational group based in Irvine, California, are helping out by building the “manipulatives” for the teachers while also saving money at the same time.

MIND says that a single year of their ST Math educational technology program can have a significant impact on the students in the classroom. They also said that one school performing at the 50th percentile started performing in the 66th percentile, according to a recent study conducted by WestEd, an independent education research firm.

The study was based around information from 209 students ranging from 2nd grade to 5th grade and more than 19,900 students from 129 schools in California, who full implemented the program.

The MIND Research Institute’s six-person content development team works on building teaching tools to assist students with the necessary conceptual help for understanding math concepts.

There are many ways a 3D printer can help students’ conceptual understanding of fundamental and complex mathematics says Meagan Mead of MIND. “A 3D printer is a perfect example of an input/output system, where a completed printed product demonstrates that it’s made of a network of ‘x,y,z’ coordinates creating the structure of an object, and the technology can show students concepts like how to intersect a plane with a cube.”

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