Summertime is learning time for 30 teachers mastering 3D printers for exciting new lessons.

Soft SkillsIn Duval County, Florida, high school and middle school algebra and math teachers are working at Twin Lakes Middle School to learn how to make and use items that will be used in math and science lessons with a 3D printer.

The items included loaded dice, models of lion fish, and miniature human skulls. The designs came from, a website that integrates with 3D printers for making materials.

Once the eight day training is completed, each teacher will have a free 3D printer and can use the website on an ongoing basis to make kits for their classrooms. The idea is to increase student engagement, creativity, and excitement in math and science classes.

“It’s good for the students in terms of technology,” said Rachel Hazel, a Duval high school math specialist. “What they create with the printer they’re going to use for hands-on mathematics. … That’s a hook to keep students interested.”

Hundreds of teachers in Florida are benefiting from a partnership between Florida State University’s Center for Research & STEM and  The partnership provides training, support, and 3D printers for participating teachers. An additional 140 Duval teachers will not receive printers, but will receive training, access to the website, and printing services.

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