Lauderdale County school's now have 3-D printers

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LAUDERDALE CO., Miss. (WTOK) - Technological advances have changed the classroom over the years, and that trend is continuing. Select classrooms across the Lauderdale County School District now have 3-D printers, a technology that can be used in many ways.

“Next year I hope we could use the 3-D printer to maybe design small items that we could either sell for a club or possibly make items that we can give to parents, maybe for Christmas, or something like that,” says Mary Hill Shular, the 7th grade cyber foundations teacher at West Lauderdale Middle School.

The printer takes a design and uses a plastic filament that gets melted by the device to make a three dimensional object.

“I’m hoping that when they use the 3-D printer and this technology that they begin thinking about technology and engineering careers, and STEM careers in a different way,” Shular says. “I’m hoping that they’ll even determine that this is something they’re interested in; maybe they’ll start inventing items, maybe they’ll think of ways and careers that they’ve chosen be it medical or education, any other kind of career that they could use this technology in any area.”

Having the 3-D printers is also a way to get girls into careers like computer science that have historically been male-dominant.

“I also want to encourage my female students to be excited about this technology and open that up for them, because traditionally, a lot of computer and engineering careers involve guys only, and we also want our girls to be excited about it,” Shular explains.

The 3-D printers are to be used in each school’s Career and Technical Education classes.