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Queens Students Get Taste of Technology in 3-D Printing Competition

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | February 5, 2014 8:30am
 Queens children are working on their own 3D designs. 
3-D Printing Challenge
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QUEENS — Dozens of kids from Queens are getting a chance to learn 3-D printing techniques and will get to show off what they learned in a design competition that seeks to teach them the latest technology.

Earlier this year, the Rego Park Green Alliance, which organizes the project, trained 10 teachers from several public schools as well as after-school programs and community organizations, such as Woodside on the Move.

For the next eight to 10 weeks, the teachers will work with the students to design toys that will be printed by a 3-D printer and presented during an event on May 4, at P.S. 175 in Rego Park, said Yvonne Shortt, executive director of the Rego Park Green Alliance.

Shortt said she expects about 100 students between third and eighth grade to learn how to use 3-D printing applications during the competition.

The toys must fit inside a box that is 6 inches all around, as most portable printers can only print objects up to 10 inches tall, she said.

The goal, Shortt said, is not only to educate teachers and students about the latest technology, but also to promote creativity among kids in the neighborhood.

“The printers are still somewhat expensive and we are not seeing our community benefit from it as much as we would like to,” Shortt said.

The Rego Park Green Alliance will be lending its 3-D printers as well as laptops to those schools and programs that do not have their own equipment, said Shortt, whose group has been also teaching 3-D printing at local branches of the Queens Library.

During the event on May 4, teams will present their projects to a panel of judges and the community, including local high school students, who will be invited to ask questions, Shortt said.

Children will also take part in a live challenge where they will have to design something collaboratively with their team in one hour. 

Teams will be competing for trophies that will be awarded for presentation, innovation and collaboration, Shortt said.

The designs will be also on display in May during LIC Arts Open at the group’s studio in Long Island City.