Digital fabrication tools manufacturer Dremel, originally known for its handheld rotary tools, has gone above and beyond in its initiatives to get STEM-related 3D printing technology into schools. From its Dremel Dreams curriculum and 3D printing course for teachers, to its Dremel 3D Idea Builder 3D20 3D printer, with corresponding app, and its recent #LearnMakeGive contest, where it awarded 35 schools with Dremel 3D Idea Builder 3D20 3D printers, the company has looked toward supporting science, technology, engineering, and math curricula. Dremel has a new partner in supporting STEM education, along with our nation’s veterans: training and veteran support organization 3D Veterans.
US veterans will first be trained, and can then go on to have sustainable additive manufacturing careers at Dremel. In addition, they will help teachers and students in New York, California, Florida, and Texas to implement Dremel’s Idea Builder 3D printer into their school districts.This new veterans’ career program is called the 3D VetSquad Initiative, which aims to introduce “our Nation’s Heroes to our Nation’s Future Leaders with STEM.”
George Velez, manager of Dremel 3D Education, said, “Veterans have provided a tremendous service to our country, and we want to honor that by supporting their transition back to civilian life. We couldn’t be more fortunate to introduce these heroes to our nation’s students.”
The 3D Veterans organization is a veteran- and minority-owned small business. It was founded two years ago, to give both veterans and transitioning service members training and job placement assistance in fields centered around emerging technologies. This past summer, a partnership between the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and 3D Veterans was announced by the White House, with an objective of helping our nation’s veterans gain opportunities by training them on skills for this century’s job market.
Michael Moncada, co-founder of 3D Veterans, said, “Through our partnership with Dremel, veterans will now have the unique opportunity to launch exciting new careers while continuing to be of service to their country by helping children master the job skills of the future.”
3D Veterans developed the 3D VetSquad through the use of a grant, and support from America Makes, Google.org, and the VA Center of Innovation. These organizations worked together to build training boot camps, which are “centered on the needs of employers in emerging technology-focused industries.”
Andrea Ippolito, Innovation Network lead of the Department of Veteran Affairs, said, “As part of Memorandum of Understanding, VA Center for Innovation is excited to collaborate with 3D Veterans, Dremel, and America Makes to help train veterans on 21st century skills, such as 3D printing, and allows them to gain access to impactful careers and to continue serving America’s schools and students.”
Veterans enrolled in the 3D VetSquad Initiative will complete a six-week boot camp program, which includes instruction in 3D scanning, advanced 3D modeling, 3D printing and design foundations, and hands-on training with state-of-the-art 3D printers. Once they have finished the boot camp, the veterans will receive a Training Badge, and can then visit schools across the country to help educators set up and maintain Dremel’s Idea Builder 3D printers.
Leanne Gluck, America Makes deputy director of workforce and educational outreach, said, “The 3D Veterans program successfully advances and accelerates the adoption of 3D printing in the U.S., by meeting two core needs: providing job training and workforce skills to veterans and technical support to schools and educators. America Makes strongly supports this program.”
In classrooms all over the world, 3D printing technology continues to make a positive impact on the real-world applications of STEM (and STEAM, including the arts) education, from Africa and Australia, to America and beyond. The 3D VetSquad will help teachers interested in using the technology in their classrooms by offering one-on-one customer support, which will allow the teachers to focus on comprehensive 3D printing lesson plans. As the important veterans initiative continues to grow, Dremel hopes to welcome more organizations, and school districts, that want to give both our students and our veterans a leg up. Discuss in the 3D VetSquad forum at 3DPB.com.