The addition of 400 MakerBot SKETCH 3D printers will expand access to innovative technology and strengthen skills and knowledge in the design process for students and educators across the school district.
MakerBot, a Stratasys company (Nasdaq: SSYS), today announced that Calcasieu Parish School Board has invested in 200 MakerBot SKETCH Classroom™ sets, totaling 400 SKETCH 3D printers, to further advance its STEAM education and build critical skills among its students. The addition of SKETCH 3D printers brings the latest technological innovations to students to enhance classroom learning across grade levels and better prepare them for the future.
“We want to make a difference with our students and give them all equal opportunities to succeed,” said Kim Leblanc, Chief Technology Officer at Calcasieu Parish School Board. “To do that, we need to give them tools and resources that will help them develop critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity skills. We believe that 3D printing and the MakerBot 3D printers fits right in and can support our teachers and students along their learning journey.”
Located in southwest Louisiana, Calcasieu Parish School Board is the fifth largest school district in the state. The district has 29,500 students across its 60 elementary, middle, and high schools. Its mission is to “build foundations for the future,” and it does so by providing students with the latest technologies they need to be successful in and out of the classroom. In addition to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) classes, the school district offers programs for advanced placement, gifted, and career & technical education to prepare students with skills needed for 21st century careers.
Using its allocated funds from the Title I, Part A federal grant program to purchase the 3D printers, Calcasieu Parish School Board continues to ensure that all of its students have equitable access to technology that will help accelerate learning in the classroom and support the development of cognitive and technical abilities. Each SKETCH Classroom includes two SKETCH 3D printers, ISTE-certified MakerBot Certification™ training programs for educators and students, and additional accessories and materials. Calcasieu Parish’s EdTech partner for the introduction to MakerBot was Bluum, the leading provider of transformational technology solutions for educators.
The driving force behind the purchase was the opportunity to give students equal chances to learn and use 3D printing to help develop their problem-solving and design thinking skills. Calcasieu Parish School Board takes its education seriously and works to ensure its teachers are well-equipped with the tools and resources needed to teach their students. In addition to the SKETCH 3D printers, the district has other MakerBot 3D printers, laptops, desktops, coding robots, and other STEAM technologies. One of the district’s goals with 3D printing is to integrate it seamlessly into teachers’ curricula, along with other technologies offered.
Calcasieu Parish School Board offers its teachers ongoing technical and 3D printing curriculum support through a series of in-person trainings, webinars, and more. The district plans to run additional activities to engage students and the community, including tech camps for the summer, design competitions, a STEM bus, and community events to showcase the technologies used in the schools.
“Bluum’s mission is to provide a future where every student has access to a world-class education, improve learning and make it more accessible,” Bluum Vice President of Product Ryan Semans said. “So, it is thrilling to see a district like Calcasieu Parish, where the entire student population is granted access to the federally assisted National School Lunch Program, use its resourcefulness to equip its student body with 400 cutting-edge 3D printers with little to no cost out of its pocket. We’re incredibly proud to be a technology partner with such a forward-thinking school district that is leveling the playing field in real-time.”
“We believe that STEAM education is important to the success of future generations,” said Nadav Goshen, CEO of MakerBot. “3D printing’s versatility as a learning tool as well as a training tool unlocks the possibilities of what can be achieved. Calcasieu Parish School Board continues to stand at the forefront of education to provide the latest technologies to its students to enable them to succeed.”