‘I thought it was like magic’: 3D printing class now offered at Louisa middle school

3D printing class now offered at Louisa Middle school

LOUISA, Va. (WWBT) - Louisa County Middle School students are learning a new way to problem solve using technology.

The school recently invested in several new 3D printers teaching students concepts such as problem-solving, creative coding and design.

“I thought it was like magic when I first came, I was like ‘whoa, that’s crazy,’“ said Owen Harper.

“We really get them thinking outside the box so they’re not learning the facts, they’re learning how to create things and how to manipulate them and have to maybe change them if they fail,” said technology coach, Kate Straley.

The 3D printers also teach students how to practice persistence in overcoming difficulties while at the same time challenging them to think creatively

“I just do what my heart tells me to do. Basically, I just put it all down on the computer and print it,” said student Stella Ware.

So far students have been able to create several things that represent how they feel or things for other family members.

“I made, like a soccer ball with my name on it,” said Harper.

“I’ve made a heart, this wand...and I’ve made a pig,” said Ware.

Unlike conventional classrooms where students are easily bored, the school hopes this hands-on experience will help the students as they start to design their own career paths.

“It may not be their using these specific tools later on in life but learning how to think critically about a problem and solve it, and I think learning some design process will carry on no matter what the technology is,” said Straley.

Now even if students don’t take the class the 3D printer is open to the whole school.

The school system is looking to expand by putting more 3D printers in elementary school.

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