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School : CrossRoads Middle School

District : Lexington-Richland School District Five

State : South Carolina

Grade : K-12

Community Type : Suburban

Related Tags : community engagement, student leadership

3D Printing Hand-a-thon

Lexington-Richland School District Five’s CrossRoads Middle School serves sixth grade students from 10 of the district’s 12 elementary schools and specializes in the transition from elementary to the secondary learning environment. The school has received an “Excellent” absolute rating and “Excellent” growth rating on the state report card for the past three years, and nearly 70 percent of the school’s teachers have advanced degrees and credentials.

The Challenge

CrossRoads Middle School has a core vision to cherish and challenge learners. In 2012, the school launched a S.T.E.M. initiative designed to help introduce young students to possible careers in these fields. They quickly learned that S.T.E.M. is not universally motivating and that there were distinct funding challenges for equipment and supply purchases. The program was entrusted to Dr. Chris Craft, Ph.D., NBCT who began to research alternate funding sources for the fledgling program.

The Solution

Dr. Craft found several grant programs that afforded the purchase of two Makerbot 3D printers. Because students are becoming more globally minded, in September of 2014, Crossroads launched a 3D-printed prosthetics program where students print and assemble prosthetic hands for children that need them. This program has helped students see that they can make a real difference in someone’s life and helped them recognize the needs of others. So far Crossroads has provided several hands to children in the local community and beyond. In May of 2015, Crossroads held a Hand-a-Thon and gathered nearly 100 students together and collectively assembled nearly 20 3D-printed prosthetic hands for children.

From the U.S. Department of Education:

District Point of Contact

Dr. Chris Craft, Ph.D., NBCT
Phone: 803-476-8300

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