Students eager to find 3D solutions

This steak is an example of a solution students created to a problem using the 3D printer.

By: Melanie Williamson

At the Monday, April 10, school board meeting, Jennifer Bengele, the Technology Coach for Vermilion Schools presented a new website they recently launched. Bengele explained to the board that with the help of a grant, she was able to get a 3D printer to add to their computer science program. However, she wanted to find a meaningful for the students to use the printer and understand the impact it can have on problem solving.

Bengele shared that she got the idea of the 3D Design Project Bank from another district that did something similar. The idea is to allow students to find creative solutions to real problems. Members of the community can go to the 3D design project bank website at and fill out the form on the front page describing the problem. The students will then develop, test, refine, and print out a product to provide a solution.

To test out the process, Bengele submitted a problem through the website for her students to address. In this sample project, Bengele explained that the stakes that hold down her Christmas candy cane yard decorations broke, so she could no longer use them. Based on the information provided, the students designed a new stake that would fit the candy cane décor and then made one using the 3D printer.

Bengele told the board that the sample project went very well, and she was able to show them the new stake the students had made for her. She asserted that the students are very eager to get started and encouraged the school board and the community to go to the website and submit a problem.


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