Royall, GE partnering with Imagination Station
Royall Elementary School celebrated the launching of a partnership with General Electric with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 1 for its “Imagination Station” in the school’s media center. This partnership provides a link between General Electric’s Engineering Department with future engineers at Royall. GE engineers have been actively involved with Royall students in the design of 3-D solutions to real world problems.
Royall fifth graders have been learning to use the computer program Tinker Cad and designing prototypes. On Wednesday, students showed and talked about their creations, and demonstrated the printing of the prototypes in the school’s new Imagination Station, which includes five 3-D printers.
“It’s exciting to see the talent pipeline starting at such an early age,” said John Shurman, an engineer at General Electric. He, along with Engineer Brad Critcher, have been working with the Royall 3D Design Team students guiding and teaching them to measure their prototypes and prepare them for printing. The program began a few weeks ago and as it continues, it will become a little more complicated, said Shurman, adding they will take this to the next level.
The 3D Design Team includes Cameron Adams, George Corn, Nick DeLodovico, Sarah Fitzkee, Griffin Folse, Connor Jones, Emerson Kahn, Dylan Lambert, Morgan Matney, Ethan McCown, Zane Morris, Stephen Smalls, Christopher Taylor and Noah Twiggs. Royal’s Media Specialist and Technologist Susan Jenkins encouraged the design team students to design products that can solve problems.
In answer to her request for headphone holders for the media center computers, many of the team members made holders for her. Student, Cameron Adams designed and made a gripping spoon for a special needs student who uses a weighted spoon to steady his hand when eating. The student is unable to use a normal spoon like the other students. Each day this special spoon is left with the lunchroom staff to be washed.
Now, using Cameron’s weighted spoon holder, a normal spoon easily slides into the holder. Cameron printed the spoon holder in red, the student’s favorite color. Principal Julie Smith said the 3D Design Team members are having so much fun and are so excited about the program that they are skipping recess and sometimes asking to skip lunch to work on their prototypes. Team member Zane Morris wants to purchase his own 3D printer. He said his family is raising chickens to produce eggs to sell and he plans to save up the egg money to buy a 3D printer.