(Danbury Newstimes, 11/30/2016) – Patricia-Ann Corso’s sixth-graders watched in awe as a whirring 3-D printer slowly built a chess piece out of blue plastic.
The 18 students had crowded into a 44-foot trailer filled with the printer and other machines that burned patterns into wood, counted ball bearings and measured a piece of steel to one-thousandth of an inch.
The trailer, parked on the grounds of the Sherman School, is formally known as the Goodwin College Manufacturing Lab. Since April, it has traveled to schools statewide, trying to get young people interested in manufacturing early in their academic careers. Sherman was its 23rd stop.
“Kids often don’t realize that somebody needs to make their stuff, design things,” said Clifford Thermer, an associate professor at Goodwin College, a small career-oriented nonprofit college in East Hartford.
“Manufacturers are desperate for young people like you to come work,” Calvin Brown, education and workforce specialist at the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, told the 11- and 12-year-olds. “There are many academic strategies you can take to get into manufacturing.”