Photo by Otto Kitsinger for Idaho STEM Action Center
BOISE, Idaho (Press Release) — Fifteen schools throughout the Gem State are expanding their capabilities to include 3D printing, design and fabrication with help from the Idaho STEM Action Center.
Teachers from each school recently learned how to operate, maintain, and troubleshoot 3D printers at a workshop the STEM Action Center held in Boise in partnership with the Discovery Center of Idaho and the Digital Harbor Foundation.
The professional development opportunity is part of FabSLAM, a team-based digital fabrication competition launched by the Digital Harbor Foundation where youth in Idaho, Baltimore and Pittsburgh practice design, iteration and rapid prototyping skills primarily focused on 3D design and 3D printing. With guidance from a coach, each team develops and documents a product that fits the annual theme and requirements. The competition culminates in a FabSLAM Showcase where teams present their products to a panel of judges and a public audience for review and feedback.
The Idaho teachers also received brand-new 3D printers at the workshop to bring back home to their schools, and they will assemble teams in their communities to participate in FabSLAM and serve as coaches. Visit www.digitalharbor.org/fabslam/idaho for more details.
Conceived in the office of Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, the Idaho STEM Action Center was approved during the 2015 legislative session to help produce a competitive workforce by implementing kindergarten-to-career science, technology, engineering, and math education programs aligned with industry needs. During the 2016 session, the Idaho Legislature set the STEM Center’s ongoing annual budget at $2.4 million, appropriated $2 million into a STEM Education Fund to help start up local STEM programs and approved the addition of a computer science program manager to oversee the Computer Science Initiative.