The Calcasieu Parish School Board has invested in 200 MakerBot SKETCH Classroom sets, totaling 400 SKETCH 3D printers, to advance its STEAM education and develop critical skills in its students. The addition of SKETCH 3D printers brings the latest technological innovations to students to enhance classroom learning at all levels and better prepare them for the future.
“We want to make a difference to our students and give them all an equal opportunity to succeed,” said Kim Leblanc, director of technology at the Calcasieu Parish School Board. “To do this, we must provide them with tools and resources that will help them develop their critical thinking, collaboration and creativity. We believe that 3D printing and MakerBot 3D printers fit together perfectly and can support our teachers and students throughout their learning journey.
Located in southwest Louisiana, the Calcasieu Parish School Board is the fifth largest school district in the state. The district has 29,500 students in its 60 elementary, middle, and high schools. Its mission is to “build the foundations of the future”, and it does so by providing students with the latest technologies they need to succeed, in and out of the classroom. In addition to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) courses, the school district offers Advanced Placement, Gifted Student, and Vocational and Technical Education programs to prepare students with the skills needed for 21st century careers. .
By using allocated funds from the federal Title I, Part A grant program to purchase the 3D printers, the Calcasieu Parish School Board continues to ensure that all of its students have equitable access to technology that will help accelerate the classroom learning and to support the development of cognitive and technical skills. Each SKETCH classroom includes two SKETCH 3D printers, ISTE-certified MakerBot certification training programs for teachers and students, and additional accessories and materials. Calcasieu Parish’s EdTech partner for introducing MakerBot was Bluum, a leading provider of transformational technology solutions for educators.
The driving force behind the purchase was the opportunity to give students equal opportunities to learn and use 3D printing technology to help develop their problem solving and design thinking skills. The Calcasieu Parish School Board ensures that its teachers are well equipped with the tools and resources needed to teach their students. In addition to SKETCH 3D printers, the district has other MakerBot 3D printers, laptops, desktops, coding robots, and other STEAM technologies. One of the district’s goals with 3D printing is to integrate it seamlessly into teacher curricula, along with other technologies offered.
The Calcasieu Parish School Board offers its teachers ongoing support for technical studies and 3D printing programs through a series of in-person trainings, webinars and more. The district plans to hold additional activities to engage students and the community, including summer tech camps, design contests, a STEAM bus, and community events to showcase technologies used in schools.
“Bluum’s mission is to deliver a future where every student has access to a world-class education, to improve learning and make it more accessible,” said Ryan Semans, Bluum’s Vice President of Products. “So it’s exciting to see a neighborhood like Calcasieu Parish, where the entire student body has access to the federally funded National School Lunch Program, use its ingenuity to equip its student body with 400 3D printers of cutting edge with little to no cost out of pocket. We are extremely proud to be a technology partner with such a forward-thinking school district that is leveling the playing field in real time.”
“We believe that STEAM education is important for the success of future generations,” said Nadav Goshen, CEO of MakerBot. “The versatility of 3D printing as a learning tool as well as a training tool opens up the possibilities of what can be achieved. The Calcasieu Parish School Board continues to be at the forefront of education to provide the latest technology to its students to enable them to succeed.