The school year may be coming to an end but educators at Centennial Middle School are already looking for new innovative ways to expand learning come this fall, after the Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) awards Centennial Middle School Science teachers with a $1,250 educational grant for the purchase of a 3D printer.
“It is a big deal, because we are rural and we are underfunded– as most schools in Colorado are and, especially on the Western Slope– so it’s pretty much a dream to get this kind of equipment,” Centennial Middle School 8th grade teacher, Meghan Waschbusch said.
Aiming to enhance hands-on learning in the classroom, Centennial Middle says a 3D printer will allow teachers in their Applied Engineering and Design classes to create a “Makerspace” for students.
“They could see it as real world application and for them to be able to do that and see that and experience that is incredible,” CEO of DMEA, Jasen Bronec said.
Giving children, grades sixth through eighth, a chance to gain marketable skills before moving on to the next level.
“Students will be able to print their own materials and modify what their dreaming up,” Waschbusch said.
According to Waschbusch, students will be able to immerse themselves in the engineering process from the design, to prototyping, to testing, and even manufacturing.
“I think this would be awesome if it were my homework assignment kids would never complain about homework again,” 8th grade student, Shayla Logan said.
By next school year, Waschbusch says her goal is to have students utilize the 3D printer to build robots for Sea Perch, an national underwater robotics competition.