Last week, the STEM participation days took place. From 13.09 to 15.09, the Fab Lab team was invited by the district of Siegen-Wittgenstein to the front plaza of the district house. Every year in September, around 1,000 children and teenagers from all types of schools and daycare centers take part in a wide variety of STEM offerings for experimenting, experiencing and discovering. The Fab Lab was part of the various research and discovery stations as an extracurricular learning space.
The team had prepared a workshop on the introduction to 3D printing. A total of six groups of students from the eighth grade upwards from secondary schools and grammar schools took part. A small, mobile Fab Lab was created in a tent for this purpose. We brought a total of six of our eight Prusa 3D printers and ten of our laptops.
First there was a short theoretical introduction to basics, design principles, hazards, modeling and slicing. After a short demonstration part, the pupils were allowed to get hands-on: they could create their own key chains in the free software Tinkercad. Once the model was ready, the students transferred them to the slicer, prepared them for 3D printing, and were then able to print their designs on their own. Of course, we were there to help the students with any questions or problems they might have. For example, pendants with initials and names, or objects such as swords and ping-pong bats were created. The students were allowed to take these home at the end of the workshop.
Despite the rain, the sun was shining inside the tent: we were very happy about the engagement and interest of the students and hope we gave them some understanding of 3D printing!