Using a 3D printer is a treat for many students preparing for STEM careers, so having 3D printers built by students is even more useful in encouraging them to pursue higher level classes in science and technology.
Eleven students were recommended to do just that by their math or science teachers. They have begun to construct the printers from kits, and will have the opportunity to test them when returning to school January 2.
“We felt this could be a great way to energize students to pursue higher level classes and eventually, down the road, a STEM career,” said David Childress, Lynchburg City Schools director for information technology. He proposed the project about two months ago during a directors meeting.
Childress estimated the cost at about $10,000, paid for by “carryover funds” – money that was excess in the budget. 15 kits were purchased by the district, 10 for students and 5 for schools in the division. Funding was also supplied by Crist Communications and the Virginia Student Training and Refurbishment program (STAR). Laptops are being donated to the students by STAR.