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An Interview with Ben Coleman, Fall River Schools
June 4, 2015
Based on our success in finding several innovative colleges who have fully embraced 3D printing, we decided that we should look at what is being done in the earlier years of education to prepare students for the future. In the first segment of our series on the use of 3D printing in the K-12 arena, we caught up with Mr. Ben Coleman, a middle school teacher at Edmond P. Talbot, part of the Fall River Schools in Massachusetts. Students at his school are using 3D printing as part of an after school program and entering their designs into the MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) ROV (Remote Operated Underwater Vehicle) competition to develop parts for an ROV to conduct scientific research. The interview was conducted via email, and the transcript is here below.
1) When and why were your company/companies founded? What is your background in education/teaching?
2) How and when did you all decide to get into 3D printing?
3) Had anyone in your organization had experience with the technology?
4) What type of 3D printer(s) are you using?
5) What materials are you printing with?
6) How many of the parts for the ROV are 3D printed as opposed to being sourced in a more "traditional" way?
7) How many times has your group entered the MATE ROV competition? Have you received any awards for your entries?
8) How much of the responsibility for making the parts is up to the students themselves? What is their age range?
9) How do students get involved with your after school program? Is there an "admissions" process or what qualifications are you looking for?
10) What do you think schools and universities can do to better (if anything) to foster STEM efforts related to 3D printing? What do you think are the biggest barriers to a novice getting involved with the field and the technology?