Destination: Mars teaches hands-on STEM education
The company behind the product, Skriware, is creating an entire EdTech ecosystem.
3D Printing is huge and is a now-permanent fixture of the 21st century’s technology landscape. Schools are starting to introduce 3D printing content, but there’s still a skills gap to be bridged.
Polish-Swedish startup Skriware has successfully created an EdTech ecosystem around their printers. This ecosystem is comprised of robots, intuitive and easy-to-use 3D printers, an online 3D model library, a virtual 3D playground, and an associated e-learning platform.
“Destination: Mars” is the first full product using the whole ecosystem, designed to teach cutting-edge STEM concepts to nine to 16-year-olds. The course takes these students on a 15-hour mission, during which time they gain an introduction to robotics, algorithms, and coding. Science facts and trivia about Mars are playfully interwoven with physics, chemistry and general knowledge in the course.
Skriware’s platform is fully integrated with their own 3D printers, so the children can also design, print, and program their own robot during the course – the Skribot. The first mission starts out gently, with assembly of the robot and connecting its electronic parts. Then, when interacting with the Skribot, the students discover the secrets of the Red Planet, learn how to program simple rules and obstacle avoidance, and other tasks that would also happen on a real trip to Mars.
You can also get a ready-to-use robot kit if you want to use the course, but don’t have the requisite 3d printer.
Skriware hopes to ignite the passion of the next generation of STEM engineers and makers, and from what I can see here, they’re doing a fine job. They were recently named as one of the Kairos 50, one of the 50 most innovative businesses in the world last year.