While I’ve taught SOLIDWORKS to thousands of adults over the last two decades, teaching kids always fires me up; I come from an education background, after all! For this year’s Camp 3D!, we decided to expand the program into two different age groups and also take much younger kids in one of the camps. Every time I teach kids, I learn something new. This year, I really paid attention not just to what I was teaching the kids, but to what they could teach me, and also noted how the two age groups were similar and also different. Here are three things I learned from the younger Campers:
1. Have no fear! These kids were not afraid to ask questions about anything. They weren’t afraid to be wrong. They weren’t afraid to be loud, either! Every moment learning was exciting to them. They also made friends very easily; one table at lunch with a half-dozen was having a good old time, so I assumed they already knew each other. When I asked them how long they have known each other, they said, “Since this morning!”
2. Be creative: They didn’t need someone else to tell them what to design or how, they just went into their own imaginations and weren’t concerned about “how to do it” unless they got stuck. They didn’t much care for making models from the book, but rather took what they learned and made their own things. They had the most creative designs for the 3D printer project I had seen from any group.
3. Have fun: Everything is a game or is art to them. “Mine’s better!” “How did you do that?” “Ok, yours is better!” “Wow, that’s cool!” “Let me try!” They seemed to see each project as a game of who could do it better, faster, or cooler than the other. For the kids who weren’t as competitive, they quietly made some of the most artistic designs I have seen just with basic sketching tools. Once I showed them splines, the artists really took off.
Next month, I’ll talk about three things I learned from the older Campers. And make sure you’re watching for our announcements for Camp 3D! in 2019 so your kids can have their own great experience!
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