Penn State Program a Model for US 3D Printing Summer Programs

As schools and libraries continue to put an emphasis on science, technology, enginerring and math curriculum, a growing number of summer camps are opening up to supplement student's engagement with STEM topics.

A program at Penn State University this summer took 28 students from 12 high schools in Pennsylvania that had little experience with STEM concepts, and brought them face to face with skills that can ensure the 21st century is, like the 20th century, led by Americans.

schools 3d printing education

“I wasn’t really expecting it to be what it was,” said Anna Traub, a student that took part in the STEM Summer Enrichment Program at Penn State. “I thought that it was just going to be like school, algebra and geometry, but we ended up learning so many more abstract concepts which I have never been exposed to. It was nice to have this experience because I want to be in this field.”

The program, which is free, is just one of dozens of similar summer program being run around country in just about every state in the Continental US.

“Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are crucial fields for driving innovation and competitiveness,” Rafic Bachnak, the director of Penn State Harrisburg's School of Science, Engineering and Technology said. “STEM jobs show the highest expectation for growth: 17 percent as compared to 10 percent for jobs overall. By 2018, there may be as many as 2.4 million unfilled STEM jobs in the United States.”

Libraries, just like camps and schools, are getting in on the STEM action as well.  In fact, the American Library Association has taken a leading role in providing their members with the tools to get a successful 3d printing program up and running.

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