17 January 2014

Can You Print an iPhone?

Today, our S.T.E.M. students had the pleasure of talking with Dr. Lester Towell, who is the Department Chair of Computer Information Systems at Howard Payne University. Mr. Winter made the connection using Skype in the Classroom. After a few emails back and forth, we found a convenient time for us to connect. Our students came up with question for Dr. Towell earlier this week and that's where we began. 

Here are the questions they came up with:

  1. How do you make a 3D printer?
  2. What’s the coolest thing you ever printed?
  3. When was the first 3D printer made?
  4. How did you learn about 3D printing?
  5. What is your favorite software to use for creating 3D models?
  6. Can you create a 3D printer that creates a 3D printer?
  7. Can someone build a 3D printer themselves?
  8. Did you ever print something to eat?
  9. What is the cheapest 3D printer?
  10. Can you print anything electrical?
  11. When was the first 3D printer made?
  12. Can you print an iPhone?

We learned so much! For example, it's possible to build your own 3D printer. The technology used in 3D printing is older than I thought it would be. Engineers are working on creating self-replicating 3D printers (how cool!). And while it's not possible right now, it's definitely plausible that within 5 years, we might be able to print an iPhone.

I'm so thankful to have technology that allows us to connect with experts outside of our school. We chatted with Dr. Towell for about forty minutes and I think the students could have kept asking him questions for another hour! He very graciously offered to chat with us again in a few months.

Our next goal is to find someone we can talk with about LEGO robotics. Have any suggestions?

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