A New Mobile 3D Lab
Visitors to the Middle School hallway will notice a new workbench with a 3D printer that may be humming away on a project. FCS now has a mobile 3D Lab thanks to generous funding from the Parent Association Wish List.
“We’ve had that 3D printer for years but it’s mostly been utilized in summer camp and now we’re trying to offer it to the whole school so every student has access to the technology,” explained Van Nguyen, Director of Auxiliary Programs. The funding from the PA made it possible to transition the machine to a rolling workbench complete with storage for all the supplies the printer needs in addition to a 3D scanner, handheld 3D pens, stencils, tools, filament, and manuals.
This spring Van will offer a 3D printing enrichment program for students and training for teachers will be available in the near future. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to see the mobile lab in use in classrooms soon,” Van said.
Where might 3D printing show up in the curriculum? Van shared a few ideas. “In younger grades, students can make full use of 3D pens to explore shapes, patterns, and how to connect them together.” In Middle School, students could construct models for presentations, learn about how to translate drawings into three-dimensional shapes, and problem-solve.
Van says one of the hidden lessons to be learned in 3D printing is about stewardship and combatting our disposable culture. “With a 3D printer, something that is broken doesn’t have to be thrown away. If something can be made, it can also be fixed. Now when we identify things that need to be fixed in the school, students can be part of designing materials to fix them.”