Santa Clara University's Mobile Maker Lab visits Columbia Middle
On October 14, 2016, students at Columbia Middle School experienced the unique opportunity to learn about 3D printing, laser cutting projects and more thanks to a visit from the Mobile Maker Lab from Santa Clara University.
The mobile lab is a van decked out as a maker space, complete with the technology and tools students need to make unique projects.
Columbia eighth-graders rotated through stations that allowed them to watch 3D figurines get printed and lasers cut puzzles and create vinyl stickers featuring the school’s bulldog mascot.
“I think it’s pretty cool since I was really interested in 3D printing and it’s not often I get to see a 3D printer in life, so it’s really cool to actually experience this,” said eighth-grader Yin Xiang.
Students were particularly interested in a 3D printer that formed plastic replicas of Pokemon characters. A Mobile Maker mentor explained the science behind how liquid plastic becomes a figurine.
The mobile lab is run by Santa Clara University students and has been making its first trips to South Bay schools over the past two months. According to Anne Mahacek, lab manager and research associate in the college’s School of Engineering, the project started with funding from a nonprofit program called Makers 4 Good. With input from teachers from around the region, the Mobile Maker Lab developed curriculum for students in grades 7-9.