June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.14.1 - 26.14.7
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.
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