Long Island Science Center receives $20,000 grant to create STEM 3D printing program

The Long Island Science Center (LISC), a STEAM Learning Museum located in New York, has received a $20,000 grant from the Long Island Community Foundation to provide a 3D Printing and Design Program for kids. 

The educational 3D printing scheme will be developed for disadvantaged children in the Riverhead and Riverside communities of New York. “We recognized that there are very few tech-based programs for elementary and middle school students in the area,” states Cailin Kaller, Executive Director of the Long Island Science Center. 

“[We] are working to develop a number of new programs that will be designed to make subjects, such as 3D printing and the engineering design process, fun, hands-on and accessible for students. Programs like this help build confidence and critical-thinking skills.” 

Students at the LISC. Photo via Long Island Science Center.
Students at the LISC. Photo via Long Island Science Center.

Advancing STEM through additive manufacturing

Founded in 1990, the LISC provides a large collection of STEM programming both to the public and to school groups.  The museum is located in Riverhead, New York, with 2,000 square feet of exhibition and classroom space. It aims to provide interactive STEAM exhibitions for both children and adults by partnering with with local corporations, historical societies, and professional societies. Since its inception, LISC has provided STEAM curricula to over 345,000 children. 

Using the grant received from the Long Island Community Foundation, LISC will now offer three 5-week 3D printing courses for two different age groups, including students in elementary school, and those in middle school. The program will start in October 2019, and will educate the children on the engineering design process of 3D printing. Students in the program will be taught how to use Tinkercad software for 3D design, and will also gain access to free and open “3D printing hours”, where they can 3D print their designs. 

By providing its 3D printing sessions, LISC hopes to equip students with the necessary technological skills to progress onto STEM employment opportunities. ” We know that many students have already decided what is and isn’t for them by the time they have reached high school, we want to help them explore how STEM can be part of their future” added Kaller. 

Student using 3D printer at the LISC. Photo via Long Island Science Center.
Student using 3D printer at the LISC. Photo via Long Island Science Center.

3D printing and education

Various educational programs centering on additive manufacturing have been established to facilitate STEM/STEAM learning for students. Recently, Auburn University’s National Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence (NCAME) launched a program aiming to advance STEM disciplines by providing students with practical experience in industrial 3D printing. 

Award winning OEM GE Additive has a yearly Additive Education Program (AEP) that focuses on providing desktop 3D printers and packages to primary and secondary schools, with a particular focus on K-12 students. The company announced that it expects AEP to provide over one million students the opportunity to use 3D printing by 2020. 

Taiwanese 3D printer manufacturer XYZprinting also offers a K-12 STEAM curriculum designed to facilitate the use of 3D printers in the classroom. It comes equipped with step-by-step instructions for teachers to help provide engaging lessons with a 3D printer. 

Subscribe to the 3D Printing Industry newsletter for the latest news in additive manufacturing. You can also stay connected by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.

Looking for a career in additive manufacturing? Visit 3D Printing Jobs for a selection of roles in the industry. 

Featured image shows student using 3D printer at the LISC. Photo via Long Island Science Center.