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Kids fly high designing hover-cars

BY YUN LIN | JUNE 18, 2015 5:00 AM

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A new class this summer gives kids a chance to have a high time designing model hover cars.

The Belin-Blank Center of UI College of Education is collaborating with M.C Ginsberg’s Advanced 3D design and manufacturing studio to start a new program that offers children an opportunity to get real 3D printing and design experiences. 

The program — Design for Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing: Bringing Your Engineering and Artistic Ideas to Life — is underway. 

“The program is going really well between Ginsberg studio and Belin-Blank Center, and students are challenged and having fun,” said Lori Lhrig, the supervisor for curriculum and instruction at the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development.

Kids are learning how to run software used to design model hover cars from artists and engineers. All the models are 3D printed at one of the University of Iowa’s two 3D printing facilities. 

The UI’s 3D printers are located in the Studio Arts Building and at the Seamans Center.

Participants can take the models home with them, said program instructor Kevin Wilkinson.

It is a fantastic experience to both children and founders of this program. 

“It's been actually very enjoyable for the teachers to engage in because children are here to learn,” Mark Ginsberg, the owner of M.C Ginsberg Objects of Art, said.

“It is not something we are forcing them to listen or forcing them to participate in,”Ginsberg said. “They come here voluntarily, so I believe the kids are enjoying it as well.”  

The goal of the program is pushing children to face challenges, solve problems, and collaborate with others.  

“We want to challenge the students as well as expose them to art, engineering, entrepreneurship and to be able to work in an authentic studio space,” Lhrig said. 

Not all children learn from this class is what a 3D printer is or how to use one, she said. 

“The broader perspective of the class is about giving students a chance to think in creative, collaborative, and problem solving ways,” she said. 

All the children involved in this program are from grade six through eight, so the program is interesting enough to get them excited about participating.  

“Giving the students an opportunity to be in the class like this, their minds are like sponges and have a high potential to succeed in the future,” Ginsberg said. 

Officials hope that inspiration for future engineers and art designers will be sparked by a class or program such as this, Wilkinson said. 

The founders of this program, Lhrig and Ginsberg, are keen to see children break the barriers between academic disciplines as well as cultural differences by taking the class.

“We get to try to intersect culture and academic disciplines and teach the kids how to work with each other, and to embrace ideas that they may not be familiar with,” Ginsberg said. 

Getting children to step out of their comfort zone is a big part of the program, Lhrig said.

“We are taking all motivated and capable students in this environment and asking them to stretch beyond where they are at,” she said.


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