From left, Eva Artschwager, Don Davis and Dave Fox at Davis’ robotics classroom where they watch a 3-D printer create a plastic robot claw designed by a student. Courtesy photo
A partnership with Los Alamos Public Schools, UNM-Los Alamos, Los Alamos National Laboratory Community Programs Office, LAPS Foundation and members of the community is moving quickly to develop a 3-D printing course at UNM-LA.
When ready, high school students will be able to take the course for a dual-credit. An adult course for community members also is under consideration.
3-D printing is a rapidly growing new technology with a huge career tech potential. Recently, a Cornell University biomedical engineer printed a replacement ear for a child. Potentially, anything that can be modeled in three dimensions can be printed.
To capture this possibility in Los Alamos, Dave Fox, owner of CB Fox Department Store, opened the conversation by offering a challenge grant to the LAPS Foundation to help fund materials for the 3-D printers.
Eva Artschwager, the Director of UNM-LA Community Education is coordinating the development of the new course with Los Alamos High School Prinicipal Sandy Warnock.
UNM-LA instructor Don Davis is piloting the 3-D printing project.
Matt Velasquez of LANL has been involved in discussions of how student demonstration workshops might be structured to inspire students and kick-start a more developed educational program in this area.
Valesquez also is providing professional guidance on how to set up a 3-D printing program.
Warnock has expressed excitement regarding the potential of 3-D printing as a new high-tech pathway for the Los Alamos students.
The community partnership is in its infancy and more work needs to be done before the new dual credit course is developed. Community members interested in joining in this conversation are encouraged to call the LAPS district office at 663-2230.