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Eye On Education: Plymouth Teacher Gets Creative To Bring 3D Printer To Classroom

By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV
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BOSTON (CBS) —A big concern in education today, is the digital divide.

Schools may want to expose kids to technology but some simply don’t have it in the budget. But when one local teacher wanted a 3D printer for her students, she didn’t let money stand in her way. Instead, she turned to creative fundraising to make it happen.

Plymouth technology integration specialist Karen Winsper is helping 4th graders at Nathaniel Morton Elementary School with a design challenge using a new 3D printer program. Students like Jacob Petrarca use it in order to create-to-learn.

“Everybody was going with like basic squares and circles I wanted something like different,” he said. “I just wanted to spice it up.”

Winsper says the program allows the students to take measurements, re-scale and think about their designs. The students at Morton say every school should have a 3D printer.

The only problem is 3D printers are expensive – this one was $2,500. So Winsper used her own problem-solving skills and used technology to get the technology.

“I had a vision of what I wanted to do but I think you need to get over the fear,” she said.

She saw on Twitter that “Makerbot” was trying to get a 3D printer in every school in America.

“I jumped on it and put in a proposal through ‘Donors Choose’ and within a week it was fully funded by the Makerbot company,” Winsper said.

Her message to teachers who think their school can’t afford a learning tool like the 3D printer is the same as it is for her students – make adjustments and find a way to make it work.

“The bottom line is try to explore options for what is available whether it is a grant or through “DonorsChoose” or other outside alternatives to your typical school budget,” she said.

Let us know if you’ve heard of other great things happening in our schools. Email Eyeoneducation@cbs.com or Tweet Paula Ebben @PaulaEbbenWBZ.

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