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TheStreet Open House

MakerBot Thingiverse Hosts Math Manipulative Design Challenge

MakerBot® wants to help teachers teach math in a whole new way – in 3D! Pattern blocks, geoboards, tangrams, abacus, animal counters, measuring worms and more are just some of the options available for math manipulatives in the classroom today. But to obtain them, teachers must collect them on their own or order them from math websites, often spending their own funds to obtain them. Enter MakerBot and 3D printing. MakerBot is holding a design challenge on its website Thingiverse® to encourage its Thingiverse community to create math manipulatives that can be downloaded and 3D printed in the classroom.

The MakerBot Thingiverse Math Manipulative Design Challenge launches November 12, 2013, in conjunction with the MakerBot Academy education initiative to put a MakerBot in every classroom. Entries for the MakerBot Thingiverse Math Manipulative Design Challenge may be submitted via Thingiverse by uploading designs and tagging them with #MakerBotAcademyMath until November 18, 2013. Winners will be announced on December 9, 2013. Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot, and a former teacher, will review all entries and select a first, second and third place Challenge finalist. Finalists will be based on printability, educational value and creativity.

Prizes include:

First Place: The winner selects a K-12 grade classroom to receive a MakerBot® Replicator® 2 Desktop 3D Printer and three rolls of MakerBot® Filament. Finalist will also receive their 3D printed math manipulative displayed in MakerBot retail stores in New York City, Greenwich, Conn., and Boston; plus a Thingiverse tee-shirt, and their design featured on Thingiverse.

Second Place: Second place finalist receives his or her design displayed in MakerBot retail stores in New York City, Greenwich, Conn., and Boston; plus two spools of MakerBot Filament, a Thingiverse tee-shirt, and their design featured on Thingiverse.

Third Place: Third place finalist receives his or her design displayed in MakerBot retail stores in New York City, Greenwich, Conn., and Boston; plus a spool of MakerBot PLA, a Thingiverse tee-shirt, and their design featured on Thingiverse.

“Having been a teacher before starting MakerBot, I know how needed math manipulatives are in the classroom to teach different math concepts,” noted Pettis. “Math manipulatives are one of the most sought-after tools for the classroom, but often expensive and parts get lost and need to be replaced. By 3D printing math manipulatives, teachers take the creativity and control of these tools and bring them into the classroom to encourage even more innovation and inspiration. It’s a win-win situation for teachers and students alike.”

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