Three Dimensional Empowerment

As part of the St. Louis School STEM Speaker Series, our Fifth Grade students took the opportunity to learn about 3D printing from Preston Tobery, Coordinator of Maker Technologies of the University of Maryland’s John and Stella Graves MakerSpace. Mr. Tobery shared details about his career, the technologies found at the Maker Space and his passion for 3D printing and design with the goal of making a difference in our world. We learned about his design of a 3D prosthetic arm for a friend, his assistive wheelchair for Chloe, a paralyzed kitten, and his “Mega Feeder” design for Badger, a kitten suffering from megaesophagus. Mr. Tobery shared how he has re-evaluated the Mega Feeder and went through a re-design to improve it, all based on feedback and observed need. The students were able to view an actual 3D-printed Mega Feeder and discussed details about the design, the hollow portions to reduce print time, and the materials used.

Mr. Tobery told the students how he uses mathematics every day when creating and printing designs and encouraged them to pursue what interests them with a mindset to look for solutions to problems. Be curious!

The Fifth Grade students were gifted with their very own Testudo, a 3D-printed design of the University of Maryland turtle statue located outside the McKeldin Library in College Park. We would like to thank Mr. Tobery for the gift of his time and talent and for inspiring our students to pursue careers in the STEM fields.