Innovate & Educate Challenge

Educators at every level play a critical role in creating learning environments that expose students to inspiring experiences within Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM). We’d like to hear from you, the people who know the most about the classroom and its needs, about how you’re integrating 3D printing into your teaching.

Formlabs, in conjunction with the White House National Manufacturing Day, received lesson plans and.STL files from educators all over the country for a chance to win a Form 2 3D printer for their classroom. Missed the challenge but want to share your lesson plan? Formlabs invites you and your colleagues to develop and submit lesson plans on 3D printing along with an applicable .STL file below to be part of our growing community of educators across the world!

Congratulations to the Science Visualization Initiative!

First place: The Science Visualization Initiative submitted a lesson plan that’s part of their 3D digital arts program Cool 3D, designed for use with their traveling STEAM Bus.

Through teaching students about orthographic views, perspective, Platonic solids, polyhedra, and dodecahedron, the lesson provides an in-depth understanding of how complex 3D designs are often the key to innovation, and can lead to a creative and exciting careers in a wide variety of industries.

Runner up: Second place goes to Somerville High School’s “Principles of 3D Modeling” lesson plan, an in-depth, engaging overview of 3D modeling functions, three dimensional space, and inventor basics that has students design and print a custom Lego.

Download the winning lesson plan


The contest is over, but we will still collect lesson plans and update you about education related content.

  1. Format your lesson plan as .PDF file.
  2. Register for a Pinshape account.
  3. Upload your design, including your .PDF lesson plan and relevant .STL file(s), to Pinshape.
  4. Use the form to the right to complete your contest entry.

The lesson plan and file that offered the best educational experience using the following criteria was selected:

  1. The objective of the lesson plan is clearly stated and provides a manner of which to achieve it.
  2. The .STL file is engaging and relevant to the lesson plan.
  3. The lesson allows the student to make connections between 3D printing and real world applications.
  4. The judges will review each submission and announce the winner via email on December 12, 2016.

Submit a lesson plan to be part of our growing community of educators

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Eva Mitchell is Director of the Boston Public Schools Partnership with General Electric and a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. Eva has worked at the state level across the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Office of Educational Quality and Accountability, and also has extensive experience working in school districts as the leadership team coach for low-performing schools in Boston and Springfield. In total, Eva has 25 years of experience in public education.


Reshma Saujani is the Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology. Through its Summer Immersion Programs and Clubs, Girls Who Code is leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with computing skills. She began her career as an attorney and activist. In 2010, she surged onto the political scene as the first Indian American woman to run for U.S. Congress. Reshma has also served as Deputy Public Advocate for New York City and ran a spirited campaign for Public Advocate in 2013.


Jeffrey L. Brodie is the is the Deputy Director for the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian. Since coming to the Smithsonian in 1989, Jeff has served as a historian at the National Museum of American History and the National Postal Museum, and has helped develop exhibition projects including America’s Smithsonian: An Exhibition of American History and Culture, presented in Tokyo, Japan; Benjamin Franklin: A Revolutionary Role; and Science in American Life. Jeff holds a Ph.D. in history and is interested in the impact of evolving technologies used to disseminate information in society.


Russell Shilling is the Executive Director of STEM at the U.S. Department of Education, overseeing the Department’s policies to drive innovation in STEM education and enhance interagency coordination. He retired after 22 years of service as a Navy Aerospace Experimental Psychologist focusing on education, training, and psychological health. As an early pioneer in the “serious” games movement, he was responsible for award winning games for STEM education, medical training, and psychological health. He pioneered research to treat post-traumatic stress with virtual reality and graphic novel storytelling tools, and developed programs with Sesame Street Workshop that have helped military children adapt to traumas.


Lisa Katayama is the co-creator of the MIT Media Lab's Director's Fellows Program, a program that catalyzes collaborations between the technologies of the MIT Media Lab and creative changemakers all over the world. She currently works at SYPartners, where she has leads editorial strategy for social impact projects like XQ: The Super School Project, and runs a small nonprofit called The Tofu Project that empowers social activists and entrepreneurs from different communities with leadership and design thinking tools. Previously, Lisa was a tech and culture journalist for outlets such as Wired, Popular Science, The New York Times Magazine, Boing Boing, and PRI’s Studio360.


Katie Rast has provided program direction for Fab Lab San Diego for four years, working as a liaison with MIT to co-site, develop, and implement the San Diego instantiation of the MIT Global Network. She has built local partnerships to create a community-embedded learning laboratory and develop related educational programs. Katie has worked for over ten years with community-based organizations and schools to provide creative educational experiences for youth. She has developed and implemented programs and curricula that bring the concepts of digital media into an accessible and project-based learning environment for youth and learners of all ages.


As the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center’s second President & CEO, Travis McCready is responsible for leading the ongoing implementation of the $1 billion Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative, a public-private partnership that has contributed to Massachusetts’ emergence as the global leader in life sciences. Travis serves on the boards of the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth, and the Center for Collaborative Leadership at UMass Boston. He has served on the Economic Development Planning Council under two governors, including co-chairing the subcommittee on innovation and entrepreneurship. In 2009, he was named one of Boston’s top “40 under 40” young business leaders by the Boston Business Journal.


Sarah Keating is the award-winning and results-driven Director of Education and Strategy for Scholastic's National Partnerships division, responsible for overseeing the development, marketing, social outreach, and implementation of partnership programs on behalf of Scholastic, Inc. Highly skilled at simultaneously achieving the goals of the partner and Scholastic while providing high quality, useful, and relevant programs for K-12 teachers, parents, and students.

  1. Contestant must submit at least one lesson plan and one .STL file (contestant can submit more than one lesson plan, but the quality not the quantity of lesson plans will determine the winner).
  2. Lesson plan must span a one hour class period.
  3. .STL file should be relevant to the lesson plan.
  4. The lesson plan and file should teach the student a new skill from a core subject (Science, Tech, Engineering, Art, Math) using 3D printing.
  5. The contest is for 3D printing in general and does not need to use a Formlabs 3D printer to qualify.
  6. Contest opens October 7th in conjunction with the White House's National Manufacturing Day and runs until November 30th. Winner will be announced on December 12th.

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