Catawba College to Use 3D Printing to Enhance Student Learning

February 5, 2021

Category: Academics, Biology, Chemistry, Students

Dr. Carmony Hartwig and Amanda Bosch held a faculty symposium at Catawba College Friday afternoon to show how 3D printing can be used in the classroom. The presentation showed how the process worked, from starting with just an idea to having it printed and in hand. The library has developed a detailed guide that includes step-by-step instructions so that students can see their ideas become a reality. 3D printing allows students a greater depth of study, providing a better representation of what it is that they are studying besides just a picture in a textbook. 

Students in Dr. Hartwig’s class will be using the 3D printer to learn more about proteins and molecules, how they look, and how they function. Having to create and build the protein will teach students about their composition. They will be selecting a protein, printing it out, and designing an interactive infographic to use in a presentation. The infographic will include a scannable piece by the Blippar app (an Augmented Reality app) that ads another layer to the information someone can obtain from the infographic.

Eleven faculty attended the symposium and discussed how this could be used in other classes. Some of their ideas included math to look at 3D geometry, psychology to analyze neurotransmitters, and health science to make bones, joints, or organs.

The symposium took place in Catawba’s new Greg and Missie Alcorn Digital Learning Lab. The Digital Learning Lab is a new addition to the library that brings in a variety of technology for students and faculty to use including 3D printers, robots, virtual reality, augmented reality, laser engraver, digital art pads, and a video recording and editing studio.

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