Do you have a 3D printer, but you and your students have maxed out the size of your print bed? Are you ready to contribute to what my colleague Miguel Guhlin calls the BIG WOW? Hold onto your filament because you and your students are going to want to be a part of this.
If you know the tech director from Sabine Pass ISD, Mark Simmons, then you probably know he is all spitfire. I’ve known Mark since the summer of 2013, and in those five years, he has been a champion for innovation in his school district. The students at Sabine Pass are experimenting and learning with 3D printing, drones, and a Glowforge. Mark is the guy that makes great ideas happen!
The Spark Behind the Idea
Over the years, Mark has observed that schools want to participate in STEM projects, but they have three main roadblocks
- No equipment or the funds to get equipment
- No money to tackle a big project
- Growth is stifled because small-scale projects are limiting.
Instead of just accepting these roadblocks, Mark is trying to bulldoze them down by getting schools to work together. He starts by asking “How can schools collaborate and create an over-the-top STEM project that will engage and inspire both students and educators?” and “In addition to wowing those within the school, what if a large collaborative project could raise the eyebrows of our friends in the private sector, businesses, and the government to help fund these projects and get equipment for schools?”
The BIG WOW
Mark’s first thought was to print a vehicle that could travel to Mars. (No one can say he doesn’t shoot for the stars!) While that was determined to not be quite feasible, he still knew the ultimate creation would have to be mind-blowing even if it were grounded here on Earth. Instead, he and his team decided to go with an open remote-controlled model. Simple, right? Wait for it…the model they want to 3D print is a remote-controlled race car the size of a Honda Civic.
The First Step
To make this audacious creation possible, Mark is going to need help from a lot of schools with 3D printers and big dreams. If you’re interested in helping out with the BIG WOW, please register your teams as soon as possible. The number of school needs to be set in place by the end of this school year. The deadline to enter is June 1, 2018.
To get the ball rolling (or the race car driving!), fill out the form here to answer basic questions about your school, how you are best contacted, and the brand, filament size, and filament type of the 3D printer available to you.
A Team Effort in 3D Printing
Mark is hoping for 120 schools to participate. Any school with a 3D printer can get in on the action. The next best news is that the filament will be provided FREE! The number of schools participating will dictate how to slice up the model into printable sizes based on everyone’s build volume. Sabine Pass ISD will take care of the motors and the wiring. The resulting car will also be professionally painted. And all of the participating schools will be able to add your logos to the car, just like NASCAR!
We’re hoping to have the car built by February 2019 so it can make its debut at the 2019 TCEA Convention & Exposition in San Antonio. The car will then travel to other major education conferences and work to raise awareness and funding for STEM education in schools.
Don’t miss out on being a part of this Honda-sized learning opportunity! Fill out the form and get ready to start printing. And if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or to Mark at [email protected].