Josh Ajima and Clarence Fisher want to make sure that the next generation of Makers will not only discover 3D printing and making technologies, but that they'll also learn how to turn that interest into real-world skills.
That's why they're the point men for Printrbot Learn, an initiative sponsored by Printrbot and run by teachers aimed at getting making tools into the hands of kids of all ages "by growing a thriving community of makers that share knowledge, support and inspiration."
Ajima is a designer, maker and teacher. His partner in the venture, Fisher, is a classroom teacher in the small town of Snow Lake, Manitoba in northern Canada. Fisher has 20 years of experience in education, and from his small school, he's been leading a revolution in technical education.
Fisher's classroom, one of the first in the world to begin blogging, has been featured in the New York Times, on CNET and in various books and professional articles. He also received one of Canada's highest educational awards, the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching, and he's served as a featured keynote speaker and workshop presenter at conferences around the world.
The pair say that since a passion for education has been at the core of Printrbot since the very beginning, they want to help nascent Makers come up with ways to realize the mantra of Printerbot's CEO, Brook Drumm – "what they think, they'll be able to build."
Ajima believes the way to do that is in the trenches at the grassroots level with Makers like father and son team, Jason and Spencer.
"At the June meeting of the Nova Labs 3D printing group in Reston, VA, I noticed two makers working intently on a 3D printer build," Ajima says. "They worked closely together for close to two hours. I waited for them to take a break so I could talk to this father-son duo about their 3D printer but they were focused on the build the entire time and I didn't want to interrupt."
Ajima contacted them later to discover ways he could understand the challenges facing the pair, and this led to an interview conducted by Ajima.
As for the project itself, Ajima and Fisher say the site will include tutorials to guide learners from their initial ideas to the first 3D print, lesson plans across the STEM curriculum, inspiring stories from designers and makers and contests used to promote the fun and excitement of what they call 'Learning by Making.'