Please see Randy's exciting proposal below, along with this piece from The Boston Globe, which explains some of the amazing uses of this technology.
From The Boston Globe
Dream It. Design It. 3D Print It!
My classroom is the STEAM lab! Activities in my classroom are very "hands on" as students explore Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. We learn about everything! Building and programming robots, trajectory through the use of model rocketry, bridge building, SketchUp, engines and more.
I teach students in grades 5 through 8. Describe my students? Over achievers; they love learning! Their parents are strong backers of education and appreciate everything we (teachers) do for their children. I couldn't ask for better children to work with. I have approximately 115 students in each grade and sometime during the year every student in the school takes part in STEAM lab. I look at my students as a resource as I learn just as much from them as I teach. My 5th and 6th graders are with me for a full quarter of the school year. 7th graders for a trimester and my 8th graders are with me for a full half year. Being in a small school with a total population of a little over 450 children allows me to get to know my students well. I truly look forward to each day of teaching.
I'm looking to take my students to the next level. Two years ago I changed the title of my teaching area from Industrial Arts to STEAM lab. When I started teaching at this middle school I began bringing in the many concepts of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math to the activities my students were taking part in. I've added Lego Mindstorm Robotics to the 5th grade curriculum which is loved! My 8th graders have been learning about computer programming through SCRATCH and practicing design work through the use of Autodesk SketchBook, and Google SketchUp. All three of these areas have provided my students with many new and exciting learning opportunities. Adding a 3D printer would enhance their learning very much! 7th graders are learning about engineering by building balsa wood bridges and testing the strength of their designs. My 6th graders are learning basic concepts of physics through model rocketry and building race cars. STEAM lab is a very popular class that kids enjoy!
Adding a 3D printer to the STEAM lab will make a very big difference in the lives of my students. They love new technology and learning in general. I estimate that more than 90% will be going to college. Many have expressed a desire to study engineering. I encourage both male and female students to consider engineering. One mom wrote "Many girls tend to lose interest at this age and you have encouraged her to continue."