High Point kids learn to bring ideas to life with a 3D printer

HIGH POINT, N.C. — In today’s world, if you give an elementary school student a computer, chances are he or she will know what to do with it or, at the very least, become a fast learner.

Students at Kirkman Park Elementary School in High Point quickly learned how to make a mug using a 3D printer.

Dr. Jamal Crawford says it has been the ideal centerpiece for the makerspace he envisioned for the school.

“If we can provide kids the opportunities to tinker with something, to figure out how to build something, especially for something that's useful, and then to see that creation that they've made come to life and in physical form, I think it's phenomenal,” he said.

Fifth grade students Marnie Lasher, Jelena Garcia, Maurice Gordon and Skylar Pittman learned that telling the computer what to do would take teamwork and patience.

“It was a bit stressful, so I was the person that kept everybody calm,” Lasher said.

“We just took turns learning how to do it, so it's kind of like we learned something new today,” Garcia said.

Even though it was challenging at times, the students enjoyed the experience and what they accomplished.

“We all had different ideas,” Gordon said.

“Some of us, I think, thought we couldn't do it, but then we just did it and we were proud,” Pittman said.

The High Point Community Foundation provided a $3,000 grant for the school to purchase the printer.

Dr. Crawford says the printer will be used at all grade levels, including Kindergarten.

He says the printer will be especially beneficial when children at that age start learning shapes.

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