Heritage Middle School’s Technology, Design and Engineering labs have been leaders in the field for decades. The ongoing efforts to remain at the forefront of innovative education have recently included an expansion of the schools 3D printing capabilities. At this time last year, the school's printers were deployed to the homes of teachers and students to produce personal protective equipment for area hospitals during a time when finding those products was nearly impossible.
Recently the award winning FemGineer program received top honors at the National Engineers Week: Future City Design Challenge. In addition to prizes for themselves, Team “Luna Hermosa”, made up of Avery Wiener, Raya Sapherstein and Phoebe Liu, earned third place overall in the competition and a $1,250 STEM Grant.
After brainstorming with the group, their advisor and teacher Kenneth Zushma utilized the grant funding to purchase the racking as well as one FlashForge Dreamer, two FlashForge Creator Pros, and seven FlashForge Finders to bolster what was already in use in the schools technology design and engineering labs. The printers have a retail value of over $3700.00. But Zushma worked with the distributor to purchase customer return units. All of which he was able to bring into full service with minor repairs.
Zushma has been the advisor to the group for fifteen years and during that time, the students' efforts have resulted in thousands of dollars in grant funding that have been used to enhance the program. His efforts were also recognized this year at the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association conference where he was given their Middle School Teacher Excellence Award.