Every student, no matter where they’re from, should have access to quality education. Located in a low income community in the Bronx, NY, students at PS 121 Throop struggle with not always having the resources they need to absorb new material and excel in STEAM classes. With funding from the NYS Department of Youth and Community Development, the school was able to start an after school program with The Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation (SASF). The SASF staff was able to improve student performance, increase engagement, and make a real difference for the students at PS 121 Throop with MakerBot.
SASF provides curriculum-based activities and homework help for grades K-5. Early on, SASF Cliff Hernandez noticed that many of his 4th and 5th graders didn’t know how to use a laptop. Knowing that this was due to a lack of exposure at home and in school, he dedicated himself to introducing new technology to them. After receiving approval from SASF Program Directors, Hernandez was able to invest in 3D printing. Since adding the MakerBot Replicator (5th Gen) 3D Printer to his architecture lesson plan, students model 3D objects on Tinkercad with personal laptops. This process helps PS 121‘s retain general STEM concepts and lessons. Hernandez teaches them new techniques on a one on one basis, guiding them as they create 3D printed houses, buildings, skylines, and more!
SASF Program Manager Ursula Hunter appreciates the distinctive sense of purpose that 3D printing has added to the learning process. “I think that’s what makes it interesting for the students. I believe that we learn better by doing. When you have the opportunity to apply these concepts, that’s when it becomes real and useful in some way,” she says. With these results in mind, Hunter has already greenlit the purchase of MakerBot 3D printers at three more SASF sites.
The Sports and Arts In Schools Foundation is currently looking to expand its programming to accommodate a larger population of disadvantaged youth. Visit the SASF website to learn more.
Discover how PS 121 Throop and SASF are utilizing MakerBot to improve education in this case study.
Courtesy of MakerBot.