Riverside Research Donates 3D Printers for Classroom Enrichment

DAYTON, OH – Riverside Research, a not-for-profit scientific research company primarily serving the Department of Defense and the intelligence community, donated seven 3D printers to Dayton-area schools as a community outreach initiative to promote STEM education.

Director of Intelligent Systems and Machine Learning Research, Ted Josue, and Technical Project Manager, Chris Williams, have volunteered in the Oakwood City School District for several years by coaching, mentoring, and educating students in grades K–6 in a variety of STEM topics. Their latest concept of STEM education was not only to teach students the fundamentals of computer-aided design (CAD), 3D printing, and engineering, but also help teachers find ways to enrich their classroom experience by using this technology.

Starting with a single school for the pilot program, Ted and Chris held a professional development seminar for the teachers and staff of Harman Elementary in Oakwood, OH. The seminar began with an educational session on 3D printing technology. This was followed by a training session on 3D design and modeling using Tinkercad™ software, a free, browser-based 3D design and modeling tool developed by Autodesk, Inc. for STEM education. The final session included hands-on-training and the presentation from Riverside Research of a new 3D printer to the school. After working through a series of tutorials to learn the basics of CAD and 3D design, the educators were able to design and print some of their own simple models.

With the successful implementation of the pilot program at Harman Elementary, Riverside Research’s goal was then to expand this initiative to other Dayton-area schools. With the help of Harman Elementary teachers and students, Ted and Chris held a workshop and donated Riverside Research-funded 3D printers to six additional schools, including Dayton Early College Academy, Emerson Academy, JFK Elementary, Oakwood Junior High, Ruskin Elementary, and Smith Elementary. At the workshop, Harman Elementary students and teachers presented what they learned and shared some tips based on their experience using Tinkercad and their 3D printer.

“Allowing Harman Elementary students to share their experiences with the other schools during the expanded session was a huge success,” said Ted. “We were truly inspired by the spirit and creativity of these young students as they demonstrated their projects.”

Through this STEM initiative, Riverside Research was able to provide STEM resources that will continue to inspire and enrich students and teachers’ classroom experience.