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New Hope Academy Charter School

459 W King St, York, PA 17401
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Students have been introduced to 3-D printing at a local business this summer.
By ANGIE MASON
Daily Record/Sunday News
Updated:   07/26/2013 12:22:31 AM EDT


Serena Ramos, 15, and Zavier Vega, 12, check out a model made from a 3-D printer at the JD Brown Center on Wednesday. The two are members of the New Hope Academy tech club, which was working with 3Delivered, a 3-D printing company. (DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS - KATE PENN)
 
 

York College senior Kyle Williams, of Broomall, scrapes plastic from a 3-D printer as it warms up at. Williams in an intern with 3Delivered, which played host to the New Hope Academy tech club, working with them to design keychains that were printed with the 3-D printer. (DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS - KATE PENN)

 

York, PA -

 

Learning 3-D printing is fun, but it can be difficult, said Kristzen Tracey, 16. "One small mistake can ruin the whole project," he said Wednesday, as he carefully traced the shape of Pennsylvania into a keychain design he was creating on a laptop. But the end result is the best part. "You see, oh, wow, I made that," said Kristzen, who will be a junior at New Hope Aademy Charter School next year. "That's pretty awesome."

 

Kristzen and other New Hope Academy Charter School students have been learning about 3-D printing through a partnership with 3Delivered, a business in York College's J.D. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship. Some members of the charter school's tech club -- dubbed Batteries Not Included -- made their second trip to the business on Wednesday.

 

There, they were guided through the process of designing a keychain in a computer program. While they waited for a 3-D printer to form their keychains in plastic, they learned more about the different types of printing and examined sample items.  Marcus Richardson, the assistant IT director at New Hope, said the summer visits are an extension of the after-school tech club, which has done everything from introductory computer programming to building Linux systems.

 

The program with 3Delivered, part of a larger effort to partner with local businesses, is aimed at getting kids interested in engineering.  And 3-D printing is on the verge of "blowing up" around the world, he said. "They've been really receptive to it," he said.

 

Serena Ramos, 15, said she was interested in 3-D printing because it didn't seem like something a lot of people get into. "It's unique to me," she said.  As they looked at sample objects, the students talked about what they wanted to make on their next trip, tossing out suggestions like cell phone cases or 3-D models of their names. Chris Rodak, CEO of 3Delivered, told them of projects under way, like creating a protective case for a medical device.

 

Zavier Vega, 12, designs a keychain to be made by a 3-D printer at the JD Brown Center on Wednesday. ( DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS - KATE PENN)
 
Rodak said it's good to see young people gravitating toward such technology. It is inherently awe-inspiring, he said, noting that the New Hope students were going from idea to production in a matter of a couple of hours. "This gives them a chance to cut through the curiosity ... and see it and do it themselves," he said.

 

Rodak said he has ideas for more advanced projects to work on with the New Hope students, to stay a step ahead of their comfort level. He hopes to work with more schools and community groups. Josh Fleming, who teaches technology classes at New Hope, said the partnership will extend beyond the tech club into classes next year, too. Though New Hope plans to be able to buy its own printer at some point, he said, it is able to make use of 3Delivered's resources, too. He pointed to Manuel Tellado, a 17-year-old student who said he might consider 3-D printing as a future career.  "He's going to be able to design something kids will actually use," Fleming said.

 


A 3-D printer creates keychains designed by New Hope Academy students at the JD Brown Center on Wednesday. ( DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS - KATE PENN)

About 3Delivered and York College

3Delivered is in York College's J.D. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship and has been able to pull from student talent there, according to the company's CEO, Chris Rodak.

"We've been very lucky. We've found some very high flyers ... very skilled students," Rodak said.

 

Rodak said students studying engineering, marketing, and design have been involved. Students from the Art Institute of York and from Penn State, in addition to York College, are getting experience there.

The business has a variety of 3-D printers for different kinds of projects, and can participate in the product development and content creation areas.

 

Jeff Vermeulen, executive director of the J.D. Brown Center, said 3Delivered is an example of what the business incubator wants to happen there.

 

The business has tapped into the college's engineering center around the corner and has gone above and beyond to share its technology and resources with high school students, he said. The students working there get to experience both the technology and starting a small business, Vermeulen said.

 

 
Serena Ramos, 15, looks over at the screen of Kirstzen Tracey, 16, as they design keychains to be made by a 3-D printer at the JD Brown Center on Wednesday. The two are members of the New Hope Academy tech club, which was visiting the 3Delivered, a 3-D company at the center. (DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS - KATE PENN)

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