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3D Printing for Middle School Outreach: A Collaboration Between the Science Library and the Society of Women Engineers

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Makerspaces in the Library: Using 3D printers, Laser Cutters, and Kits to Enhance Learning

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.14.1 - 26.14.7



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Paper Authors


Amy G. Buhler University of Florida

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Amy G. Buhler is Associate Chair and Engineering Librarian at University of Florida’s Marston Science Library. She started this position in November 2007. Amy handles collection management, library instruction, literature search assistance, and faculty/staff consultations in the areas of Agricultural & Biological Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. Prior to her work at Marston, Amy was a medical librarian for six years at the University of Florida Health Science Center Libraries where she worked with the College of Dentistry as well as the Departments of Surgery and Neurosurgery. Amy holds a Master of Science in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Florida. Her research interests consist of assessment of information seeking behaviors, library instruction, and the marketing and outreach of library services.

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Sara Gonzalez


Denise Beaubien Bennett University of Florida

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Denise Beaubien Bennett is an Engineering Librarian at the University of Florida's Marston Science Library.

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Erin Rochelle Winick Society of Women Engineers

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Erin R. Winick is a 3rd year undergraduate Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Florida. She is serving as the President of the University of Florida chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) for the 2014-2015 school year. She also serves on the national SWE Program and Development Grants Committee.
Erin interned this past summer with Solar Turbines: A Caterpillar Company in San Diego, CA and worked with investigating the manufacturing applications of mixed media 3D printing. She will be interning with John Deere this summer.

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3D Printing for Middle-School Outreach: A collaboration between a science library and the Society of Women Engineers3D printing is rapidly becoming an essential skill for engineering students as reliable printersbecome affordable for educational use. Engineering students are trained to use common CADdesign software but, through 3D printing, students can immediately evaluate the validity of theirdesign and iterate as appropriate to reach the desired functionality. To meet this need, theUniversity of Florida’s Marston Science Library opened a public 3D print lab in April 2014.The engineering librarians were approached by the UF student chapter of the Society of WomenEngineers (SWE) to collaborate in their spring 2015 outreach to female middle-school students.This annual outreach event introduces girls to engineering through tours of campus labs,exposure to new technologies, and workshops. The UF Society of Women Engineers' chapteraims to introduce young girls to these crucial engineering technologies at a young age, and sparkinterest in these areas to help them consider engineering as a possible career path. The plannedlibrary workshop will introduce students to the entire 3D design cycle from modeling toproduction, and will conclude by printing a model that they design. The librarians and SWErepresentatives will co-teach a basic design program, Tinkercad, along with providing designadvice and a primer about 3D printing technology. This workshop is based upon generalworkshops that the library provides to the UF community but will be targeted at immediatesuccess for middle-school students.The learning objectives for the girls are to leave the workshop familiar with 3D design and knowhow to create and evaluate a 3D model that is suitable for printing. By using Tinkercad and 3Dprinting, SWE primarily hopes to target improving upon the girls’ spatial visualization skills, anarea in which girls often fall behind, but is crucial for many engineering fields. The goal is thatthese students will continue to refine and expand their modeling expertise through continuedaccess to the UF library 3D printers.

Buhler, A. G., & Gonzalez, S., & Bennett, D. B., & Winick, E. R. (2015, June), 3D Printing for Middle School Outreach: A Collaboration Between the Science Library and the Society of Women Engineers Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23353

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