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MiscoeMakerCrew Brings Designs to Life with 3D Printer

The MiscoeMakerCrew exhibits at the New England 1:1 Summit in Burlington on April 12, presenting their work on 3D design and printing. Pictured is the Crew - Back row: Reem Harrati (grade 6), Miscoe Art Teacher Alice Gentili, Chris Leombruno (grade 6), Miscoe Technology Teacher Mrs. Liz Wernig, Hannah Snow (grade 8), Front row: Gianna Weed (grade 5), Skye Elliott (grade 6), Liam Crisfield (grade 6), Andrew Murphy (grade 6), Owen Brigham (grade 5), and Ben Rodman (grade 6). Contributed photo





Some students at Miscoe Hill School are taking their artwork to a new dimension thanks to a little ingenuity and the donation of a new 3D printer.

Miscoe Hill Art Teacher Alice Gentili said that back in November, she saw an opportunity to apply for a grant to receive a 3D printer from MakerBot, a company that makes 3D printers and scanners. Within a day of applying, Gentili said that MakerBot approved a grant for $2,400, and with two donations through the website Donors Choose, Gentili said they raised the additional $99 needed for the printer. "I was blown away; it happened so quickly," she said.

Once the printer was delivered, Gentili said that they knew they would need some students to pilot how to work the printer and to help test different programs to build the designs that would be downloaded to the printer. That is where the MiscoeMakerCrew was born. Made up of nine Miscoe students from grades 5 through 8, and headed up by Gentili and Technology Teacher Liz Wernig, the MiscoeMakerCrew have been meeting every Monday after school. They experiment with different computer programs and iPad apps to find the most user-friendly one to translate their ideas into a 2D computer model to be downloaded to "print" a 3D creation. "There has been a great exchange of ideas and knowledge," said Gentili. "I knew nothing about the printer, so together we figured it out," she said.

The MiscoeMakerCrew took that knowledge to the Student Showcase at the New England 1:1 Summit in Burlington on April 12, when they were invited to exhibit the work they have done with the 3D printer. The Summit is held for teachers and administrators throughout the state to learn more about technology in schools. Gentili said that the students took charge of planning for the Summit including making and setting up their display. During the event, Gentili said that the students answered "a million" questions, explained the 3D process, and shared their designs. "They were awesome," said Gentili. "Most of the adults had never heard about 3D printing so the students were able to teach them something."

Gentili said that she hopes to be able to bring the design aspect of 3D printing into the classroom as part of the curriculum as early as next year. "This is the way of the future," said Gentili. "Designing for and printing in 3D is a perfect example of STEM in action (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math), fully integrated and interdependent."




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