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Does your school need a 3D printer?

From time to time, MakerBot and Thingiverse have the opportunity to give 3D printers away to schools. If you are interested in suggesting your school as a possible donation site, then this post will tell you how to do that.

Thingiversity Fall STEAM Challenges

Thingiverse is running two simultaneous Challenges this fall. In addition to that, over the fall we will select ten featured schools from this group. At the end of the fall, the two first-place winners of the Thingiversity Fall STEAM Challenges (ThinkFun Expansion Set and Make It Loud!) will each select one of the ten featured schools to be the recipient of a MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer and supplies.

Each school entry must be submitted by a faculty member or administrator of the school in question. Schools must post a topic to this group before 11:59:59 EST on Dec 6, 2015 in order to be considered for the fall round of Thingiversity STEAM Challenge donations.

Of course, we also encourage you to find ways that your school, students, and community can participate in the Fall STEAM Challenges! The ThinkFun Expansion Set and Make It Loud! Challenges are open to the entire Thingiverse community. You can also get ideas for classroom 3D printing projects from our previous Summer STEAM Challenges.

To enter your school, please complete the following steps

Step 1: Make a Thingiverse account for your school. As administrator of this account you should be an official school representative.

Step 2: While logged into the school account, make a post in the “Our School Needs a 3D Printer!” group, as follows: Click the “Topics” tab under the banner header, and then click the “Start a Topic” button. Give your topic a title that includes the name and location of your school. (Note that you should make a top-level post to the group, not a response to this particular instructions post. Please click the "Topics" tab before starting your Topic.)

Step 3: Tell us what your school would do with a 3D printer: Describe why you think your school should be one of the ten featured schools that will have a chance to be selected by the Challenge winners. We know that 3D printing is cool and fun and opens doors to students, but we want to know the details of how your school would specifically plan to use the 3D printer. Would it be in a classroom, on a cart, shared by many, available to students, part of a larger lab, used for a particular workshop, or used in particular subject areas? Would it be your school’s first 3D printer or would it be expanding an existing 3D printing setup? There are no right or wrong answers here; just tell us your story.

Step 4: Convince us that your printer will be used and that you’re ready to roll: Do your students already work with CAD software or other 3D design tools like Tinkercad? Can you point to Things or Collections on Thingiverse that your students or faculty have been working on? Do you have someone at the school who would be a champion for your printer and make sure that it was maintained and used? What kinds of projects would you anticipate doing with 3D printing? Again, there are no right or wrong answers.

Step 5: Although not required, we encourage you to include images and links within your group post as appropriate. You might also work on your school Thingiverse profile, create 3D designs as Things or make Collections of what your students and faculty have done, and so on.

RE: Our school needs a 3D printer
I am rather confused as to why my entry which was submitted before the deadline on July 19th ( and stamped at approximately 11:10pm), now has a time for July 20th. Did this make me ineligible to be a winner?
Can you please explain why my submission's time was changed?

I'm not aware of any change, but it has not made you ineligible in any case.

Were the schools already selected who made it into the next round? Thanks!

Is it to late to get in on the next round? Are any more posts/applications being accepted?

If you add a post/application then it will be considered for future rounds, when they occur.

3D Printing @ Lincoln Park High School, Chicago, IL

Chicago Public Schools has a lot of challenges ahead for this coming school year. We definitely have one thing covered. We are overloaded with students who wish to investigate the multitude of design, engineering, and artistic possibilities of 3D printing. I also do not lack in having a lot of great things to say about these students. They are driven, dedicated young men and women. They have already designed homes using CAD software, explored virtual 3D models of biochemical processes at the molecular level. They have used artificial life simulators to build organisms in a virtual environment, right down to the genome. They have built circuits, involving breadboards, resistors, capacitors, audio speakers, Arduino controllers, and read dozens of schematics. They can build so many things, from laser mazes to rockets to towers of spaghetti.
I would hate to leave any reader with the thought that these students were just master engineers and artists. They are leaders, teaching their fellow students how to do the same things they learned to do. They recruit their own classes to add to their ranks, and create a powerful body of furiously inquisitive individuals, who wear the title of "nerd" or "geek" with pride. They go to Argonne National Laboratories to listen to professional scientists on their home turf (That group was all girls, all minority, I'd like to add, mostly because we need more of them in everything STEAM). They were interviewed on Telemundo for their international news magazine (http://tlmdo.co/1e2qz2U, I'm the guy in the white polo). They, most of all, had fun learning about science.
At Lincoln Park High School, we have students in our International Baccalaureate program, our Magnet Fine Arts students, our double honors students, our AP students, and a whole slew of kids for whom school has been only a litany of success.
None of my kids are like that. Over half said that they did not even like science before I mentioned it to them (or required them to try it as an assignment). Nine have learning or emotional disabilities. A third had never been involved in an extracurricular activity. Five were failing their current math and science classes. Yet, they found something so engaging about this program that all promised to return again to help, except our fine seniors. Two will be studying nursing, and one forensic science.
Last year I founded, through my administration's generosity, a FUSE studio at my school. FUSE is a project developed by Northwestern University to provide engaging, interest-driven, hands-on STEAM activities for students of all backgrounds and levels, with a particular focus on those students who have not been interested in science in the classroom, or may not be interested in the classroom at all. After an a phase I and II run of approximately 200 students, over 30 advanced to become assistant facilitators, giving up a collective 1100 hours of time to help themselves and others explore their interests in STEAM. They even were able to recruit another teacher, a dedicated math teacher, to become our new co-facilitator. We are ready to go to phase III, which is to increase the student population served to 1500, targeting the students who, like they once did, feel that science is not something they can be successful at.
Every facilitator says that the biggest selling point to the other students is 3D printing. It would be the height of foolishness to ignore their sage advice. However, we simply do not have the funding.
Here is what we do have: We have ten dedicated laptops, thirty chromebooks, and ten desktops currently in our studio, with full in-house administrative access for installing new software. We also have laser paper printers, document cameras, LCD projectors, and iPads available upon request. We have a curriculum for utilizing 3D printing in molecular modelling and biotechnological simulations from Milwaukee School of Engineering's Center for Biomolecular Modeling. We have the support of Northwestern University in providing both direct assistance and lesson ideas for using 3D printing both in our studio and in the other classrooms. We have two tech-savvy teachers wiling to devote over 3000 hours each to getting 1500 kids to add at least a single STEAM challenge to their quarter. We have 30 students who are hungry to incorporate the latest technology into their school, and into their own educational experience.
We want to make more than just keychains and models of our heads, though that is going to be great. We want to build hands, robots, models of proteins, and things that neither adult could think of! We have all that we need, except the printer. Help us be the next headline. Help us show that what Chicago students, and Chicago schools, already HAS is newsworthy.

So that this entry does not get lost, please post it as a Topic at the top-level of this group with the rest of the entries, instead of as a reply to the post above.

3D Printing @ Gardiner Manor School, Bay Shore, NY

by Vincenzo La Ruina
5th Grade Teacher & Long-Distance Runner

At the end of this past school year, we were lucky enough to be able to borrow a 3D printer for three weeks, from a library system (BOCES). We don't have a 3D printer, but after borrowing one, we would love to have our own. More importantly, what would we do? What DID we do?

I created a few lessons to share with third through fifth grade teachers at our school that gets everyone involved in 3D printing.

You can view ALL our resources here, as well as download ALL the resources you need to get started on your own or to replicate what's described here:


After showing a few introductory Brain Pop and YouTube videos, about 3D printing, students use free web-based, online apps to create a 3D rocket, 3D ring, and/or 3D dog tag. The best few designs in each class gets printed (teachers and students vote) -- this was simple enough for our third graders to do, using the drag-and-drop, free, online based design programs.

Students watch several Tinkercad tutorial videos and then get a chance to use Tinkercad in the computer lab. Once students are comfortable navigating Tinkercad, they choose from a list of 3D design challenges. A design contest. The best designs in each category are printed.

3D Design Challenges List:

Design a logo for GMS.
Design a car.
Design a spaceship.
Design something you can wear.
Design a house.
Design a bridge.
Design a plane.
Design a unique shape.
Design an animal.
Design a pencil holder.
Design a small monster.
Design a plant.
Design a robot.
Design a boat that will float.
Design a tree.
Design a chair.
Design a bowl.
Design a sculpture.
Design a new tool that can be used for something.
Design a LEGO person.

A student created the following "fictional" video, based on what we did with the borrowed 3D printer and using actual photos from the experience:


We would keep the 3D printer in the school library, on a cart, so that everyone can enjoy seeing it print. Being on a cart, the printer will be easily transported to classrooms for specific lessons, as needed. It's all about flexibility and teachers actual using the printer.

Our computer lab is open on a daily basis to teachers, so any teacher could sign up for a lab and have the entire class participate in the design challenges.

Classroom SMART Boards will be used to show introductory videos before kids go into the lab to design using 3D apps.

Design submissions will be printed and teachers, as well as students, will vote for the best designs. However, everyone will have the ability to print their designs using Tinkercad's 3D printing partners (just click on "Order 3D Print" in Tinkercad).

Our librarian, Lisa Smyth, and fifth grade teacher, Vincenzo La Ruina, together implemented the program described above. They both will train other teachers and be responsible for maintaining the 3D printer.

Both know how to load and unload filament like a pro, as well as know how and when to use rafts and supports. Both also try hard to avoid overhangs, because teaching small kids, we like to be able to print objects within an hour, and by avoiding supports, we are able to easily print several designs within the school day.

By keeping most prints to around 35mm maximum size, we find that we can get maximum efficiency in terms of time, quality, and cost.

How will we get more filament when we run out?
Pizza parties and DonorsChoose.org. A simple and quick fundraising pizza party and/or a proposal on DonorsChoose.org will allow us to maintain our 3D printer, as well as purchase filament.

Teachers may also use their own allocated budget money to purchase specific filament colors, and we have the full support of our principal. We can also ask parents to donate filament.

What's our favorite filament color? White, because we like to give children the opportunity to paint their designs, at home or at school.

Thank you for your consideration and for allowing us to share what we did with the world.

Even without a 3D printer, any classroom teacher with access to a few computers and a projector could implement the above. As mentioned above, even those not fortunate enough to have a 3D printer can participate in the design process and has the ability to "Order 3D Print" within Tinkercad.

Vincenzo La Ruina
5th Grade Teacher, GMS

So that this entry does not get lost, please post it as a Topic at the top-level of this group with the rest of the entries, instead of as a reply to the post above.

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Allen Sears and I teach physics at The Ida Crown Jewish Academy. Our school is a co-educational, dual-curriculum high school in Chicago’s West Rodgers Park neighborhood. In December we will be moving into a new building and campus in Skokie. Our most recent class has been accepted into exceptional schools such as Princeton, Yale, University of Chicago, and the Massachusetts Institute of technology just to name a few. We prepare the future leaders of the Jewish community and of the world.

As schools embrace more STEM offerings for their students, 3D printing and design have become more commonly accessible in the classroom. Within six months our school will move into a new state-of-the-art building. Now is the time to start planning a STEM experience that brings 21st century technology to our students. The addition of a MakerBot will allow for students to engage in modern engineering and design in STEM classes and within the general curriculum.

There are many ways I see this technology being integrated into our school. For instance, I need a custom made stand for a long-term experiment I’m doing at the moment involving cosmic rays. Students could design and build this part in-house. Students can use this equipment to create modern art and sculpture as part of an expanded art curriculum. We can use a MakerBot within the physics curriculum to introduce concepts of engineering practice. Below, I have described two activities that could be included within our curriculum. Also, the MakerBot team has numerous resources online for integrating this technology into the classroom.

AP Physics 1: After the AP exam there is over a month of school left before final exams. We will use that time to have a problem-based learning unit on computer aided design and engineering. Groups will have to design, construct and test prototypes of a turbine for a wind generator. Report deadlines will be set up for theory of design, testing results, and final product.

All levels of Physics: Bridge building contest. A common contest in schools was to make bridges out of balsa wood given certain design criteria. We could move this contest into the 21st century with computer aided design and modern materials. Students will research many structural designs and settle on one they think works best given the 3D printing and materials. A report outlining the theory, testing process, and changes made to design as a result will be required.

If you have any questions, please contact me via my Academy email: asears@icja.org

amoller - so that this entry does not get lost, can you please post it as a Topic at the top-level of this group, instead of as a reply to the post above?

"Schools must post a topic to this group before 11:59:59 EST on July 19, 2016"
You mean 2015 and not 2016, correct?

YES I DO thank you, wow, updating that right now.

Oh funny. I was going to post a reply but thought you could edit it. :)

ok i can edit now, all set :)