Because all of the workshops I do are volunteer and carry no costs beyond materials that organizations want to use for consumables (wire, LEDs, modelling clay, etc), there are no costs for personnel or unrelated items in this crowdfunding project. If your generosity goes beyond the $2,600 goal, then I will use additional “fuel” to acquire more colors of plastic filament and additional sets of the electronic components (Arduinos, Servos, Sensors) so that students won’t have to share as much.
If your combined support exceeds twice the goal, then I will acquire a second printer to be able run two classes in different schools at the same time. This will allow me to get a better research sample regarding STEM interest after the class, and will also let more children see the amazing potential in 3D on-demand manufacturing and robotics!
Any help will make a difference. Individual gifts need not be extravagant – even small donations add up rapidly if people will share the project with their friends and followers. If someone wants to provide significant donations or I exceed the goal by a wide margin, I will extend the program to outlying schools.
By working with educators in smaller or poorer school districts, we can develop class lessons for the robots along with designs for educational tools that can be used by the “have not” school distrcts who don’t get million-dollar grants for new equipment. Rural schools need inexpensive “multi-tasker” technologies to provide an education comparable to that of their peers in more affluent areas.
When I was in grade school in rural Kentucky, our Chemistry textbooks were old enough that we had a handout that explained new elements discovered since the book was printed – and we had to hand-write one that was discovered after the handout was written.
While I know the technology well enough to “wing it” after talking before hundreds of kids in past workshops, teachers will need lessons to be effective – particularly teachers who probably are not technical first. As a professional Author, I have written courses for other topics and can do the same here with access to the 3D Printer I am seeking your help with.
Having the printer will let me develop and test the robot models, while conducting the workshops will let me measure the effectiveness of personalized STEM learning, but the real pay-off comes from the class and designs that will be created and shared through the STEMulate Learning site. That will let teachers anywhere download the designs and courseware for their own classes, needing only access to a 3D printer.