Engineering and design students don’t often get the opportunity to see their creations come to life.
However, with the help of a $5,000 CenturyLink Teachers and Technology grant, students at Havelock High will get that chance.
“I’m just as pleased as I can be,” said teacher Mark Smith, who received the grant. “It’s very exciting.
Smith received one of 20 CenturyLink statewide grants. The money will be used for the purchase of a three-dimensional printer and digitizer.
“It’s got dual heads so we’ll be able to print two colors and make bigger items,” Smith said.
The printer will allow students to actually see what they have designed.
“The student has a concept. They put that into the 3D software, and we teach them how to do that. Then they can see that concept come to life,” Smith said. “It’s that extra step in the process where they can see what they’ve made.”
Smith said the printer would provide real-world applications.
“We can do some pretty amazing things,” he said. “We can make cell phone covers. One of the things we’re thinking about doing is bobbleheads. We could make school bobbleheads, so we’ve got some big plans. It’s going to be pretty amazing.”
With creations in hand, opportunities emerge, Smith said.
“We’re going to get an entrepreneurial class that will take orders,” he said. “They’ll fill the orders and then use the money to buy more consumables and then we’ll be able to recycle all the leftover plastic and reuse it, so they’ll learn about recycling.”
Smith said the students could also help with other classes, such as health.
“We can make a heart model that the kids will be able to take apart, and it will have all the valves and veins and everything,” he said. “There’s a lot of potential there.”
Principal Jeff Murphy called technology education a growing program.
“We’re hiring another teacher to teach technology education next year,” he said. “A lot of students are interested in it.”
Smith called the classes “the wave of the future.”
“This is the type of thing they need to learn,” he said. “We talk about 21st-century skills all the time, and this is what we’re talking about.”