DoD, Stratasys, and 3D printers–continuing to invest in students
This latest equipment order brings the total to more than 100 Stratasys 3D printers used as classroom technology by the nationwide program. The 3D printers help the program raise interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers for at-risk youth. Stratasys says one-half of the 3D printers have shipped to DoD STARBASE, and it expects the remainder to ship before the end of February.
“Engineering is a vital part of our nation’s hopeful future,” says DoD STARBASE RAC and Co-Founder Barbara Koscak. “We need to instill the concept of engineering early in a child’s education.”
Through the program, students in grades four through six participate in hands-on activities that emphasize teamwork to explore various STEM-based theories. For example, using PTC Creo computer-aided design software, students design model submarine, land rover, UAV, scalextric car and rocket components and use 3D printers to produce them for functional testing.
“3D printing, also called rapid prototyping, has become a key component of many science and technology curricula across schools nationwide,” says Stratasys Education Manager Jesse Roitenberg. “Students apply the knowledge they learn in the classroom to real-life models. When they can actually see, hold and touch the results of their work, it’s a very powerful lesson. Looking at the STARBASE curriculum, they’re light years ahead.”