By Susan Heckler
Our local educators know that it is essential to prepare students to be ready for the new technology when they advance to higher education or the work force. It is for this very reason that the Millstone Township School District is equipping their students to become the designers of the future through a STEAM initiative which gives students the opportunity to take part in rapid prototyping. Rapid prototyping is the term used to describe the process of translating an idea, to a virtual model and then a functioning product quickly.
The Millstone Township Middle School has introduced two new 3D printers to their technology lab thanks to the generosity of the Millstone Township Foundation for Educational Excellence. The printers were a result of a grant written by Ellen Osborn and Thomas Semko. They are hoping to create increased opportunities for students to work as modern designers and engineers.
According to Tom Semko, “Students will be introduced to computer aided design software and challenged to create items, which solve problems they have helped to identify in their daily lives. These challenges will blend concepts learned in many math and science classes with their applications, which are being utilized by engineers in industry. The goal is to grow programs which allow students to not only answer the age old question, “How will this help me?” but to take that a step further and provide students with opportunities for immediate application of their new found skills.
The district is committed to creating opportunities which integrate real world experiences into the classroom and providing students with skills, which are being utilized by their parents in various industries.”
Equally as exciting, The Millstone Elementary School has also introduced a 3D printer to their school and has plans to utilize the printer to introduce students to design and problem solving by giving them opportunities to create rapid prototypes. As elementary school teachers increase their use of design challenges in the classroom, students will be given opportunities to utilize these machines to meet their needs.
Kudos to our district and all of those involved for making great strides in improving the education of our residents and paving a great path for their future.
By Susan Heckler