The CHS Educational Foundation will donate a 3D printer to CHS. The printer has no set date of arrival, but should be here in the next few weeks for students and various departments to use.
The 3D print is achieved through an additive process where thin layers of filament material are successively placed on top of one another until the desired object is crafted.
“It’s always nice to have new technology,” junior Michael Janis said. “It’ll help clubs, too, since they can use it whenever they need. If it becomes more prevalent in the future, we will be ahead of the game.”
The Educational Foundation, which is comprised of CHS parents, students and faculty, helps CHS attain supplies that are needed but can’t be directly funded by the county. Janis is the one of the two Class of 2019 representatives for the Educational Foundation.
“We look at the school’s needs and we provide different resources to benefit the school,” Janis said. “We send teachers to different programs to better develop [their lessons] and we’ll buy products for the school, like the 3D printer.”
The Education Foundation also provided over 60 carts of Chromebooks to CHS, so that different departments can use them in the classroom.
“We have our balance of money so we will host different events, [such as] the Harlem Wizards basketball game, and [make money] through donations,” Janis said. “That all goes into the balance, and then we decide where to spend that money for the school.”
Three-dimensional printers, including the filament (the material needed to actually print 3D objects), can range from $400 to $1,800, depending on both the quality of print as well as the extravagance of the machine.
According to CHS’ Information Technology Systems Specialist Shawn McWIlliams, the printer CHS is getting will cost approximately $500, depending on the print and volume size.
3D printers were not an immediate need, but they are technology that will be beneficial for future CHS students.
According to junior Ryan Needle, who is the foundation’s other Class of 2019 representative, the idea of bringing 3D printers to CHS came from the KID museum, where Needle is also a volunteer apprentice. At the museum he learned about the printer and later, on college visits with his sister, he saw an increased use of 3D printers on campuses. He realized its use was expanding. Needle bought a 3D printer for himself and felt that CHS could benefit from having 3D printers, so he introduced the idea to the foundation, where it finally became a reality.
According to Needle, an entrepreneurship club at CHS, Think Big, will use the printers for prototyping and other projects. In addition, the technology classes at CHS may have a use for the the 3D printers, as well as the new Entrepreneurship class.
The 3D printers are meant to expose students to different methods of showcasing their work and alternative ways of thinking projects through.
“The goal is to teach students how to use the printer and the software and have an open space where kids can use it when they have projects,” Needle said. “The other goal is to [avoid] having students pay for it.”
Some CHS students already have previous experience working with 3D printers and creating objects for both fun and sale, including Needle.
“Last year, I designed fidget spinners and sold a couple hundred of them,” Needle said. “It was good to learn about the design process, how to use the technology and apply that to sales and creating something in the real world.”
Even CHS staff have used 3D printers for their own creative purposes and research.
“I have used a 3D printer to print out small scale projects for robotic development,” McWilliams said. “The printer would be able to showcase 3D designs that students create.”
CHS will only have one printer, so usage will be regulated and scheduled so as to not create any turmoil over the new technology.
“To start, we’re just getting one printer and if kids like it and teachers want to use it, we’ll try to expand it,” Needle said. “Right now, it’s going to be in Ms. Bopanna’s room [who sponsors the Think Big Club]. The use of it is going to be orchestrated through the Think Big Club as an avenue to sign up to use the printer so it’s not just a free for all.”
The printer can be utilized in many different ways, and for a multitude of different projects.
“[The Educational Foundation] hopes that equipment like this printer sparks the imagination of our students to innovate and make full use of this tool in support of their education,” Chairperson of the Educational Foundation, Aman Shergill said.