December 4, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Product Reviews


DECATUR — For about two dozen students on Friday afternoon, if they could think it, then they could probably create it.

Thanks to the help of a couple of students from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and a half dozen 3-D printers, the two dozen girls helped turn the library at the Warrensburg-Latham Middle School into a tech lab for the 21st century.

The U of I students were members of MakerGirl, a group of University of Illinois engineering students that travels to schools across the country to teach science, technology, engineering and math to girls.

Aside from the educational aspect, the group worked with middle schoolers on designing and building their own creations with a 3-D printer.

“I thought it would be good to give the girls a chance to see this and experience it first-hand,” said middle school Principal Paul Hoffman said. “We want them to learn from this, and take the skills they’ll develop and use it out of the classroom.”

Hoffman First heard of MakerGirl from social media and thought bringing them in would be a good opportunity to provide a unique learning experience for girls in the school.

Kim Dubbelde not only saw the trip as a unique experience, but one with long-term effects for the students.

Dubbelde, an instructional coach at the middle school, said it was important to introduce the students not only to the 3-D printers, but to potential career opportunities.

“The world is changing drastically,” she said. “These allow students to really work on their creativity, and sometimes their designs fail. But it’s there that they can learn from their mistakes and improve.”

A key part of the MakerGirl campaign is to get young girls interested in the fields of science and technology, which have long been predominantly male professions.

If girls can develop an interest in the fields early on in life, Dubbelde said it could go a long way toward making the workforce a more diverse place.

Don’t miss another special section.

DECATUR — For about two dozen students on Friday afternoon, if they could think it, then they could probably create it.

Thanks to the help of a couple of students from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and a half dozen 3-D printers, the two dozen girls helped turn the library at the Warrensburg-Latham Middle School into a tech lab for the 21st century.

The U of I students were members of MakerGirl, a group of University of Illinois engineering students that travels to schools across the country to teach science, technology, engineering and math to girls.

Aside from the educational aspect, the group worked with middle schoolers on designing and building their own creations with a 3-D printer.

“I thought it would be good to give the girls a chance to see this and experience it first-hand,” said middle school Principal Paul Hoffman said. “We want them to learn from this, and take the skills they’ll develop and use it out of the classroom.”

Hoffman First heard of MakerGirl from social media and thought bringing them in would be a good opportunity to provide a unique learning experience for girls in the school.

Kim Dubbelde not only saw the trip as a unique experience, but one with long-term effects for the students.

Dubbelde, an instructional coach at the middle school, said it was important to introduce the students not only to the 3-D printers, but to potential career opportunities.

“The world is changing drastically,” she said. “These allow students to really work on their creativity, and sometimes their designs fail. But it’s there that they can learn from their mistakes and improve.”

A key part of the MakerGirl campaign is to get young girls interested in the fields of science and technology, which have long been predominantly male professions.

If girls can develop an interest in the fields early on in life, Dubbelde said it could go a long way toward making the workforce a more diverse place.

Don’t miss another special section.

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