3D Printing Grant for Providence Engineering Academy!
It is with thankfulness and joy that we announce another grant win for the Providence Engineering Academy! The 3D printing company New Matter awarded Providence with the grant last week, and they will soon be shipping us three brand-new MOD-t 3D printers and enough supplies to last a long time. This is the fifth grant that the Academy has won over the past eighteen months, including one written by the students themselves.
(Update 11 March 2016: Pasadena-based New Matter received over 450 grant requests from across the nation, and chose 100 of these. Providence was the only school in Santa Barbara to receive one of these grants.)
The New Matter MOD-t printers are smaller and simpler than our current Leapfrog one, with the ability to print anything that fits within a 6″ x 4″ x 5″ envelope. Although it sounds small, many of our projects will be well suited to this size, and anything larger can still be sent to our heavy-duty Leapfrog Creatr. The MOD-t printers look great, and are advertised as being quiet enough to operate within a home or classroom with minimum disruption–another advantage over our existing setup.
9th Grade students carefully measure and plan their work
This grant win is particularly well timed, as the students are in the middle of their latest project: to design and produce educational products for the school’s teachers. Having four printers means the students can produce their designs at a much faster rate, putting prototypes in the hands of the teachers and their students as soon as possible.
Providence’s teachers have gladly submitted their design requests to our students, and the types of applications range widely: Mrs. Kleen has asked for scale models that compare Mesopotamian ziggurats to Egyptian pyramids for elementary social studies; Mr. Hurt has asked for connectable models of ionic lattices for his chemistry lessons. One of the students, Sarah Jane, is designing the promotional material for next year’s Academy class, and Jenna is creating a stylish stand for administration computer monitors. Along with all of this in-house effort, three of the boys were given the option to tackle a NASA-sponsored competition called “The Star Trek Replicator Challenge”, where they design 3D-printed food-related items for astronauts and space colonists to use.
It is our hope through all of this that students learn not only to design well, but to design with purpose. We don’t play around with technology just because it’s cool, or to win competitions. As the creative children of a creative God, we use our skills to aid and encourage others.
Stay posted as we continue to update on the educational design project!
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