Some north Iowa students are getting a chance to work with technology that may be the future of manufacturing.
7th graders at Crestwood Junior High are getting the chance to work with some cutting edge technology.
In fact, not very many people have even seen this before.
“I’ve made a square with my name on it,” says 7th grade student Hope Dohlman.
“I made this tractor on it with a cultivator; it took 7 hours to make this all,” says Jarrett Rice, another junior high student who made 3D objects with a 3D printer.
The 3D printer the students are using is one of two the Howard-Winneshiek School District owns.
“I think it’s fun, you can make mostly anything you want and it might take a lo of material to make this but it’s still pretty cool to me,” says Rice.
It may look complicated, but these 7th grades have mastered how to design and create 3D objects right in their classroom.
“You pretty much start out like you’re drawing on a piece of paper and you have to draw a square and then you can make it into 3D and then you can indent and make different shapes into it,” explains Dohlman.
“They’re excited to come to class and they’re excited to learn,” says teacher Nick Ferrie, who helped bring the printer to the school.
“I just started researching it and I proposed it to our superintendent and my principal and the school board and we thought this would be a really neat, unique, cutting edge tool to have,” says Ferrie.
Ferrie says the printer gives kids a broad understanding of engineering and helps make them aware of what’s out there in the industry, he says the technology has helped capture students imaginations and interest in the field.
“It helped me learn different measurements and how to work the computer program so it think that would help a lot if I get into engineering like that,” explains Dohlman.
While others enjoy the experience, they have other career goals in mind, “I’m going to be a farmer, that’s why I made this,” says Rice.
The junior high has had their 3D printer since the beginning of the school year.
Recently, Crestwood High School bought one of their own. That device cost around $2,200. It was purchased with media center funds.