Making a Difference  

March 11, 2016

This summer, ESU 10 hosted a 3D Printer Training for 17 Career & Technical Education (CTE) teachers representing 15 school districts. This training was a great success on many levels. The ESU 10 Perkins Consortium recently purchased 15 3D printers for member schools to incorporate into Career Education courses. 3D Printers are a newer piece of technology equipment utilized for creating three dimensional objects with extruded molten plastic. The printers can create an object in a matter of minutes or several hours depending on the intricacy of the design.

The training was led by Amity Kollars, former Shelton business teacher and ESU 10’s Nate McClenahan, Mark Hellman, & Adam Griebel. The day of training was spent instructing the teachers in potential uses for the 3D printer and available software and resources for designing objects to be created. The teachers spent time researching pre-made designs and making their own designs, while sharing ideas for classroom applications and curriculum connections.  Once each teacher completed his/her object design, he/she received hands-on training on how to operate the 3D printer and begin printing.  

According to Crain’s New York Business online magazine, the size of the global 3D printing market is projected to be six billion by 2017. In order to expose ESU 10 students to this new technology and prepare them with the skills needed for this fast growing market, CTE teachers will continue to be trained and given opportunities to collaborate between programs in our area schools. The 3D printer is just one of the pieces of equipment purchased with Perkins funds that could not be afforded by local districts otherwise.  The consortium also owns two laser engravers that are accessible on a rotating basis.

Putting this type of equipment into the hands of CTE teachers and students is helping school districts provide the rigor and relevance needed to prepare the workforce of the future.  

The partnership and collaboration between classroom teachers and both the ESU 10 Teaching & Learning and Network Information Systems Department has made this possible – an exciting and effective blending of technology and classroom application. Truly something to celebrate!

On February 17th, CTE teachers came to ESU 10 for the Career Field Collaboration Day. There they had the opportunity to attend a couple of 3D printing sessions, one of which is a “show and share” format where teachers showcased how they are utilizing the 3D printer as a tool to develop career skills and entrepreneurship concepts.

-by Kelly Clapp, Teaching and Learning Coordinator