In many special educationenvironments, educators workto impart life skills that theirstudents can later useproductively in the workforce.With the advent of rapidprototyping and 3D printing, twoteachers at the South ShoreEducational Collaborative (SSEC) sought to explore the feasibility of teaching their high school students 3D design and printing skills. In a collaboration with Enabling Engineering, SSEC was awarded a grant from the State of Massachusetts to teach students the principles and concrete skills underlying rapid prototyping. This endeavor is distinct from all other Enabling Engineering projects in that it is an initiative with an explicitly education-based goal.
In collaboration with SSEC, EnablingEngineering developed a curriculum toteach high school students basic CADand 3D printing skills. Thiscollaboration entails monthly meetingsthat are planned and run byrepresentatives from both Enablingand SSEC. The initial meetings, whichtook place monthly during the fall of2016, have focused on teaching thestudents how 3D printers work, how tocreate basic CAD models, and how touse those models to print. Eachmeeting functions like a workshop,providing students an opportunity tolearn about 3D design and 3D printing in a hands-on environment with access to experienced mechanical engineering students. The students recently completed prototypes of devices that they conceived, modeled, and printed independently.
This project is an ongoing collaboration with SSEC students.