The opportunity to see elementary student’s designs come alive with a 3D printer before their eyes was enjoyed by a group of sixth graders at Booker Middle School in Sarasota, Florida.  The device is normally used in the technology curriculum for older students, but teacher Theresa Dwulit persuaded the school district to allow her to borrow one of the printers for her advanced math class.

The printing process will likely take days to complete, but students enthusiastically gathered to watch the printer build layers of plastic as their designs took shape.

“I find it cool how it keeps on printing up,” said sixth-grader Matthew O’Hara, referring to the process of the printer. “This is more complex than 2+2 — it’s not basic. It’s scaling and then printing it.”

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Approximately 200 sixth and seventh grade students in Dwulit’s advanced math class worked with the 3D printer.  They spent a week designing a dream play area on grid paper, and chose an object in their play zones to print.

“This allows kids to experience real-world application in other content areas,” said Principal LaShawn Frost as she watched the students crowd around the machine. “Technology is growing, and it’s moving quicker than we think.”

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