400 3-D Printers coming to Calcasieu Parish Schools this Fall

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Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 9:11 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - S.T.E.M. careers are on the rise across the nation and the Calcasieu Parish School Board is working to be on the cutting edge of preparing students who want a job in the field.

3-D printers are the latest innovation students can start learning when school starts up in the fall with the CPSB saying it will have 400 new 3-D printers across all schools in the parish.

“Exactly. The reason we chose the Makerbots...we’ve used 3-D printers for a long time in Calcasieu Parish. But this was an opportunity for us to provide personalized learning, individualized learning,” explained Kim Leblanc, the Chief Technology Officer for Calcasieu Parish Schools. “Instead of having one 3-D printer for the whole school, these teachers have printers in their classrooms, so they can continue teaching, they can have side projects going on, it’s very quiet, it doesn’t disturb anything in the room. The kids have ownership of the printers themselves.”

These printers were funded entirely through federal and title funds, no general fund money was used.

“We wanted to provide equal opportunity to all of our schools, so with Title One funding and Title Four funding, we opened up the opportunity for any teacher to sign up. So that’s how teachers were chosen, you just signed up and it was a first come first serve basis,” Leblanc said.

The hope is that more school systems will follow in Calcasieu’s footsteps.

“Just like Calcasieu Parish has proved, this doesn’t have to be cost-prohibitive. We can work with districts on a one-on-one level to fulfill all of their needs from an education technology standpoint, and it might not, just like in Calcasieu Parish, cost them a dime,” Stefan Swiat, a Bluum representative said.

It’s an investment that will teach students how to embrace the technology that’s shaping the future.

Bluum is prepared to work with other parishes in Louisiana to get them the education technology they need.

For more information on this program, you can visit www.bluum.com to find your nearest representative.

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