World Academy, a private, independent school for students from Infants to Grade 8 in Nashua, will begin offering 3D printer training and coursework to students this year. Following an initial pilot program, the recently purchased 3D printers will be introduced into courses across several subjects, including Science, Mathematics, and Social Studies.
The student pilot program will offer training to 10-15 students that have shown continued academic excellence across various core subjects. The group will meet during an elective block and learn how to use the modelling computer software, the printers, and how to maintain them when not in use. This small group will then help identify how the printers can most effectively supplement current coursework.
This presents a unique opportunity to involve students in the process of developing curriculum, according to Charles Moak, a Middle School Language Arts teacher at World Academy. Moak is confident that the printers will pay dividends for students almost immediately by providing invaluable hands-on learning experiences that students at other schools may never get to enjoy.
“Like so much of what we aim to do at World Academy, the goal is for our graduates to leave with unique, high-level skills,” Moak adds. “Skills that will not only make them desirable to their future educational institutes and employers, but that will aid them in broadening the horizons of their own academic experience and knowledge.”
Moak was one of two World Academy teachers that spearheaded the proposal and purchasing process for the printers. Sri Sankar, a Middle School Math teacher at World Academy, was Moak’s partner in the endeavor.
“As the technology becomes more prevalent, Sri and I saw schools across the country utilizing them for a variety of assignments,” says Moak. “For instance, in my Social Studies classes next year, students will be able to build elevation maps using computers and then bring them to life with the printers. This adds a level of comprehension to a topic otherwise intangible and difficult to conceptualize for many students.”
World Academy purchased the 3D printer package from Massachusetts-based 3D Systems. This package included an educational discount bundle featuring two Cube Printers, two Sense 3D Scanners, a training session for faculty, and a large quantity of supplies. Funding was raised through World Academy’s annual Gordon B. Ouellette Fundraiser and Gala.
“As we focus on 21st century learning at World Academy, this is a unique opportunity for students to build a conceptual framework of how to use this nascent technology,” adds Kathy Nelson, Head of School at World Academy. “We’re so thankful to have such an involved community of parents, alumni, and local businesses that felt this was a cause worth donating to and supporting. Our students will benefit from having access to this technology for years to come.”
For more information on World Academy, to contact staff to learn more about how the school will utilize the 3D printers, or to schedule a tour of the campus, visit www.WorldAcademyNH.com.