STEMSUMMER1stIt has been said that 3D printing is the wave of the future. While some outside observers and industry experts see a slowdown in the adoption of 3D printing technology by consumers, especially in the desktop market, the 3D printing industry continues to grow by leaps and bounds. We recently covered some of the greatest benefits of 3D printing and why it is here to stay. Indeed, public school districts, libraries and many universities are investing heavily in training the next generation in 3D printing technology, as it seen as being an essential skill in the near future.

This year, I once again had the opportunity to teach students both young and old about 3D modeling in CAD (Computer-Aided Design) programs for 3D printing as an instructor for Dimension Learning, a nonprofit after school program. My students ranged from ages 8 to 80. Along with fellow instructor Lily Su, we designed courses for Dimension Learning’s first BETA (Bot Enabled Task Accomplishment) Challenge, which was sponsored by MakerBot. Our students also competed in the tri-state Creative Challenges in 3D Printing (CC3DP) competition. All in all, I have to say that this school year was a resounding success and I’m looking forward to teaching new students in the fall.

imakr-logoBut now that the long, languid days of summer have set in, what about the children who didn’t have the opportunity to study 3D printing during the school year? Where do they go to learn about this exciting technology? Su saw a need for providing 3D printing classes over the summer. With that in mind she founded the Summer Merit Program, which is being sponsored by iMakr, to teach children ages 10 and up the fundamentals of 3D printing. Classes are designed to expose students to the real applications of product development with electronics, 3D design and 3D printing, computer programming with scratch, front-end development with HTML, CSS, and Bootstrap, and practical skills such as project management, client to contractor role play and how to set up an e-commerce business.

“I believe children should always take time to connect what they are learning in school with how it applies to real tangible needs in the economic market,” says Su. “Unfortunately, classroom teachers often lack the time, money and real world experience to expose kids early on to hire-able technical skills, and that’s where the Summer Merit Program sponsored by iMakr comes in.”

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Lily Su, Summer Merit Program founder, at iMakr NY

Su explained that the Summer Merit Program courses will be taught with the Socratic method of inquiry and discussion. Scheduling and projects will be driven by individual student interest. The classes will feature a 1:3 teacher to student ratio and access to the latest educational gadgets. The average class size will be 6 students, with classes capping at 9 students. 3 teachers will be employed full-time for the duration of the course, and a graduate professor at City College will be present for electronics courses.

Summer Merit Program classes will be held at the iMakr NY store and students will have access to free, unlimited 3D printing services, within reasonable means, for the duration of the program. Students will also receive a 5% discount on 3D printer purchases and an 8% discount on filament purchases. Additionally, students will have access to a number of tech gadgets including, but not limited to, Ozobot Blocky, MeArm, Barnabas Robot, a drone, Structr 3D scanner and the 3D printers at the iMakr store.

“iMakr has been a great help in supporting people walking in asking all the ‘How’s’ in “How do I make this?” says Su, “It is well-equipped as a library for materials, processes, and tools and will be a great resource for students.”

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Summer Merit Program classes will be held at the iMakr NY store.

iMakr will be sponsoring 7 scholarship slots each week during the program, and one student per week will get to attend the Summer Merit Program free of charge. The program runs week to week starting July 18 – September 2. There are 3 pricing tiers for day, after school and flexible pickup/drop off classes. The packages are as follows:

  • M – F  9AM – 3PM $675
  • M – F  3PM – 7PM $450
  • M – F  7AM – 7PM $1350

To find out more about the Summer Merit Program, please visit summermeritprogram.info and download their registration application on the bottom right-hand side.

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