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Article Published: 06/08/2017

EHOVE Career Center has been selected to receive a 3D printing package through the General Electric (GE) Additive Education Program.  The grant package includes two 3D printers, Polar Cloud Premium Membership, filament rolls, STEAMtrax license and Polar Farm access. 

Through Polar Cloud and STEAMtrax, EHOVE instructors and students will have access to curricula and special programming for the life of the program, be eligible to compete in GE Program Challenges, and utilize GE’s bank of printers to manage overflow situations. 

EHOVE Operations Director David Jenkins said the hardware will ship in August, and estimates the value of the grant package at $10,000.  He discovered the grant opportunity just a week before its closing date.  He quickly wrote the grant with some help from Technology & Inventory Technician Jake Schlottag.

“I am excited to be able to provide our students with additional 3D printing technology along with research-based curriculum,” said Jenkins who noted that the equipment will be a great addition to the career center’s solid base of the latest technology for student learning.  “Additional access to cutting-edge technology and training/mentorship from industry experts help students learn design thinking,” said Jenkins.  “This all helps keep EHOVE on the cutting edge to allow more students the opportunity to learn and utilize 3D printing.” 

“A variety of career tech programs at EHOVE will make use of the items.  Students in Engineering Tech, Explore STEM and Fab Lab courses will likely use them most often but non-engineering/manufacturing students will learn a cutting-edge skill by learning how to 3D print,” he said.  “EHOVE’s outreach activities for the public, such as Saturday Youth Enrichment, Engineering & Innovation Club and Summer Camp, will also utilize them as well.”

Jenkins said the new equipment from the grant will also enhance EHOVE’s new zSpace by allowing students to print their 3D designs in the lab, rather than using the Fab Lab equipment in the next building.   zSpace computers create lifelike experiences that are immersive and interactive through virtual and augmented reality programs.  EHOVE teachers are creating projects and exercises that are relevant to the students’ career tech programs and career fields.

The GE Additive Education Program provides these grant opportunities because, according to www.geadditive.com, “GE believes giving students access to additive technologies will help accelerate the adoption of advanced manufacturing worldwide. That’s why GE is investing $10 million over the next five years in educational programs aimed at developing future additive talent.  It’s all part of GE’s passion for improving student outcome and introducing future generations to new technologies.”

More information about GE’s program is available at www.geadditive.com.