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From Tuesday May 27, 2014.

3D Printer Shakes-up Reidsville Middle School Lesson Plan

“It’s cool that The NASCAR Foundation provided us the stuff to have this experience,” said Sandy Lee, an 8th grade student from Ms. Sullivan’s art class at Reidsville Middle School. Sandy is referring to The NASCAR Foundation’s 3D printer donation this past fall to her class. In an effort to bring the innovation and technology that is found in NASCAR to the classroom, The NASCAR Foundation provided several classrooms across the country with 3D printers, and other state-of-the-art tools.

Tuesday, May 20, The NASCAR Foundation visited Reidsville Middle School in Reidsville, North Carolina. This opportunity presented an occasion to strengthen our relationship with the school, while at the same time introduce students to NASCAR.  With the help of NASCAR Nationwide Series Driver Jamie Dick, all grades, 6th through 8th, had the opportunity to see his race car up-close and to hear him speak on education, and its relation to his success as a professional athlete and businessman. Jamie is the only driver in the Nationwide Series to hold his MBA, as well as the youngest driver to own his team in the series.

Following the outdoor presentation to each grade level, Jamie and The NASCAR Foundation staff visited the art classroom of Ms. Sullivan.  “I try the untraditional to get them interested, like race cars,” said Ms. Sullivan, whose students take her class for an elective credit rather than mandatory coursework.
 
Over the past couple months Ms. Sullivan’s students have been perfecting their capabilities in using the printer and its software.  The design process includes utilizing laptops to create a blueprint of their envisioned project. Creativity, math skills, and an understanding of technology culminate to ensure their creations materialize correctly through the 3D printer.

During the visit, students presented their creations like race cars, a Darth-Vader cup, a prosthetic hand, and a handful of animals! In addition, they demonstrated the printer in action, creating a robot and then an engraved keychain for Jamie to take with him as a memento of his visit to the school.
 
Yet, Ms. Sullivan’s student’s creativity has expanded beyond the 3D printer. It has acted as a springboard, by inspiring James Wilson, and his fellow students to advance to film. “We are trying to make slow motion picture stuff,” said James, by using their printed creations.

Over the coming year, be sure to check out our website and social media outlets for more stories from our classroom projects!

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