3D ThinkLink intended to teach at-risk students 3D design and printing skills – 3DPrint.com

Lynda Mann and Allen O. Cage are co-founders of the YouthQuest Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Chantilly, Va., created to provide opportunities for at-risk youth, especially high school dropouts . The Foundation focuses on academic and professional development and the teaching of fundamental life skills.

Now, YouthQuest has created a Kickstarter campaign to fund the 3D ThinkLink initiative, and there are plans to use 3D design and printing courses to teach critical thinking and problem solving to these students.ThinkLink 3D 2

Launched in early 2013, the initiative aims to help students prepare for further education or employment in STEM-related professions. The group’s goal is to raise $8,000 to publish and format an introductory curriculum to 3D design and printing, which will include Moment of Inspiration 3D modeling software, a course curriculum, a set complete lesson plans, support videos and student handouts. The classroom program will cost $5,000 and serve one teacher and 10 students. The group also plans to offer a single-user self-managed package for home use, and that program will be priced at $650.

Upon completion of the course, students will have earned a Certificate of Completion following a performance-based assessment. YouthQuest says they hope online subscriber sales will serve as a new revenue stream to support their work with at-risk youth – and to introduce a new generation of students to the power of 3D printing.

Darin Janoschka

Mann says this program will be based on lessons developed over years of teaching students in National Guard Youth Challenge programs.

“We have found time and time again that our training does more than introduce students to the burgeoning technology of 3D printing,” Mann says. “It improves their problem-solving skills, stimulates creativity, strengthens STEM education and builds self-esteem. Plus, it’s great fun for them to discover how to turn their ideas into 3D-printed reality.

The group says anyone who backs the Kickstarter campaign can rest assured that they will help at-risk children learn to think differently and make better decisions through 3D programs. The campaign is expected to last 30 days and 3D ThinkLink will deliver all rewards to its backers within 60 days of the end of their $8,000 goal funding.

Mann adds that the curriculum and videos will be created, in-house, by the group’s director of education, Tom Meeks.

You can see all the details of the 3D ThinkLink project and the rewards on the group’s Kickstarter campaign here… Will you support the 3D ThinkLink initiative on Kickstarter? Let us know in the 3D ThinkLink Initiative forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the Kickstarter presentation video below: