While the clock has run out on this school year, students at Kegonsa Elementary have something fun to look forward to when the new year begins Tuesday, Sept. 3.

The school acquired a 3D printer this spring and within a few weeks, students were picking out designs for Mother’s Day gifts to make on the new machine.

The printer is housed in the school’s STEAM lab space adjoining the Library Media Center, which also includes a makerspace. Kegonsa Library Media Specialist Kristin Rosenberg said the Mother’s Day projects were both fun for the students, and a great way for her to “know how it works and to make sure I had it in good working order before really let the students at it.”

“I have one fifth grade student who has been a huge support to me, because her dad has a 3D printing business,” Rosenberg wrote the Hub in an email. “She has helped me so much with troubleshooting my myriad problems. Another fifth grade student designed and printed our first custom piece.”

Rosenberg said she hopes students’ experience with the printer will help connect them with further learning opportunities in the area of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM). She the next step this fall is to show them how to draw up their own designs through a computer-aided design (CAD) program and then physically create them with the printer.

Rosenberg said the program could be accessible online to students via their Chromebooks, meaning they could access the program during their time in the library or during their free choice time in the classroom.

– Scott De Laruelle