Loveland High School students of Michael Pintaric’s robotics class wrote an application for a grant totalling $9000 to buy six 3D printers for the elementary schools in the Loveland City school district. The grant has been granted. Led by senior Mikayla Smith, the class wrote the application to OtterCares, a youth entrepreneurship and philanthropy organization that aims to inspire students to become entrepreneurs and philanthropists who create lasting and impactful change in their communities.
“They can use it for a plethora of things,” said Bradley Sparkman, a junior at Loveland High School. “They can make action figure stands. They can make phone cases. They can make little toys. There are endless possibilities.” “If I had one of these as a kid, I would have gone nuts,” he continued.
The students are currently working to further customize the 3D printers to suit the style of the school and make them more relatable to children in elementary schools. The high school students used their school’s 3D printer to create some of the parts and pieces in each of the school colours.
Students worked in teams with help from Otter Products employees during the company’s volunteer day on Wednesday and successfully customized three of the 3D printers.
The 3D printer customized for Lincoln Elementary School, for example, is fitted with pieces with colours like white, yellow and blue. For Coyote Ridge, purple and silver; and for Cottonwood Plains, blue and white. The other three printers are still on order, so those custom pieces will be created and installed later this school year.
The students plan to send out the 3D printers to students at Lincoln, Coyote Ridge, Laurene Edmondson, Ponderosa, Centennial and Cottonwood Plains By the end of the year. The schools all have differing levels of technology and access to 3D printers, and this will expand the possibilities for some and open new doors for others.
“We’re trying to fill that gap, streamlining with the district,” said Pintaric, while Smith added, “We’re trying to even it out and have a gradual experience instead of getting thrown in (when they reach middle school).”
Once the printers are ready to be sent out, the high school students will go along and step into the role of teachers to train the elementary school teachers on the technology and work with the younger students too. This falls squarely into Pintaric’s vision to connect with other teaching institutions.