What’s Right With Our Schools: Dade Elementary 3-D Printer
TRENTON, GA (WDEF) – From manufacturing to medical, 3-D printing is the wave of the future. The sooner kids can experiment, the more things they can make. Dade Elementary School is getting children off to a solid start in technology.
Brittany Koger is the STEM Block teacher at Dade Elementary.
She explains, ” STEM is a acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. How we teach STEM is really problem solving. It’s critical thinking. It’s giving them criteria and constraints. So, giving them little materials or little things to use to solve a problem. Now, we have these wonderful 3-D printers. We have, I’m trying to get some coding robots and stuff, so we are doing a lot of coding and 3-D printing, and with the 3-D printing there are lots of jobs that need 3-D printers now. Our Middle School, they are involved in the NASA program.
Shenea Hill is the Director of Career and Technology Innovation for Dade County Schools
She explains, “As of right now we are the only school 3-D printing for NASA for the International Space Station for the industrial level. We try to make the astronauts life a little bit simpler in space. So, we had just released this last year, the tape dispenser that was probably our large project. We have more that we are working on right now. It goes through a lot of trial and error. So, it takes about three years from start to finish to actually get something up in space after testing. It goes through a lot schools a lot of programs that are involved in NASA, and we’re just one part of it.
Brittany adds, “The younger they are, the less overwhelmed they are by all of the technology. So, when they get to the Middle School, they’re not gonna be like we don’t know what this is here. They’re going to know the 3-D dimensions, but it’s just preparing them for the future and getting them, the younger we get them, we think the better it is, and these guys are so good at problem-solving right now. So. it is just wonderful to see, their thinking in their mind and the way it works.”
Shenea concludes, “I needed the students to have a better concept of 3-D printing and active manufacturing. So, that was where these printers came in to play. So they can have a concept before they get to six through eighth grade; when they are actually doing industrial level for NASA. It is a growing industry. A large billion dollar industry, and it involves in not just manufacturing but also Medical. So, there is a lot they can do, and it’s going to end up in peoples garages. So, one day you’re gonna need a part for your washing machine and you got to be able to 3-D print one. So, we’re just teaching them, you know life skills.