On Nov. 21, 2015 Apex art teacher Ian Sands announced on Twitter that Apex High School won a 3D printer. The contest, held by Maker Bot, challenged what school could get the most retweets of a teacher tweeting #WeneedaMakeBot. The prize would be awarded to the account with the most retweets. Librarian Ms. Howard had seen the contest while scrolling on social media one day, and, after discussing with the rest of the staff from the media center, they decided Mr. Sands would be the perfect person to enter the contest for our school. Sands said, “Two hundred fifty students retweeted almost instantly. At first we thought we were way ahead of everyone else but by the next day we saw we were in second, behind by one hundred retweets.” Students and teachers spread information about the contest around the school in hopes of getting more retweets. Apex High’s total retweets turned out to be 576. Sands then said, “It wasn’t me who won it, it was the students who actually won it.”
The benefits of having a 3D printer are learning experiences. Students will learn all about the software and the design. At first, the printer will be used to print fun artsy things because the learning will be about seeing something go from a 3D virtual on a screen to three dimensional in real life, something a person can actually hold. Yet, eventually, it could be used to fix certain things. For example, if a slab belt's gear is broken, a new, functional one could be printed. Not only is this printer a great learning tool for students, but other teachers will also be allowed to learn about it and use it themselves.
Sands believes that 3D printing will be a very important part of the future, and just like how we now take paper for granted, the 3D printer will be seen the same way. However as these printers become more common, it is good for students to have the skills to know how to use them. The first object that has been decided to be 3D printed is a zonkey (a zebra mixed with a donkey). Apex High students are excited; however, the date the printer will be arriving is still undetermined.