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Celebrate Black History Month with STEM!

black history

As we come to the end of Black History Month let’s remember these amazing people who made massive contributions in STEM!

Benjamin Banneker, mathematician and astronomer

He carved a clock  from wood (which is said to be the first clock made. He successfully predicted the 1789 solar eclipse. And he had a key role as a surveyor when the territory for Washington D.C. was being mapped. Banneker also wrote and published an almanac, yearly, between 1792 and 1797.

Christine Darden, mathematician and aerospace engineer

Christine Darden was a NASA mathematician and aerospace engineer. In 1967, she was added to the pool of ‘human computers’ who wrote complex programs and tediously crunched numbers for engineers at NASA’s Langley Research Center. It was 22 years after the end of World War II, and female mathematicians before her gained respect in the field of data processing while men were away at war.

“But Darden wanted to do more than process the data – she wanted to create it”…

Mary Jackson, engineer and mathematician

Mary Jackson was NASA’s first female African American engineer. She was one of the women at NASA whose story was depicted in the Hidden Figures movie. At NASA, she worked on research related to the Supersonic Pressure Tunnel. 

Gladys West, mathematician

Gladys West is a mathematician who worked on the processing and analysis of satellite data that helped lead to the development of the Global Positioning System (GPS). 

Mark Dean, computer engineer

Mark Dean is a computer engineer who co-developed the first personal computer. Additional contributions at IBM led to color monitors, the Industry Standard Architecture bus (which allows you to connect devices like printers to computers), and the first gigahertz chip.

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Make online learning safe with YOUTUBE

online safety
kids safe

Make online learning safe with YOUTUBE

Online learning has been around for many years but the demand has now grown to unprecedented levels. And with the explosion of online learning it is now more important than ever to ensure safety for the young learners. This short guide will show you to make online learning with YOUTUBE more safe for your students whether at home or in a classroom.


Youtube is the second most used search engine behind GOOGLE and is the most used search engine for videos. It is great to watch DIY (do it yourself) instructional videos, entertainment videos, and  especially educational videos. But for those who want to protect young viewers this is how you can restrict some content on youtube.

Step 1: Go to YOUTUBE 

Step 2: Click on your image in the top right of the screen.

Step 3: Go to settings when the menu pops up.
Step 4: Select restricted mode and then click the ACTIVATE RESTRICTED MODE button to turn it on.


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3d Printing and Education

3D Printing and Education

Let’s discuss how 3d printers work in the education industry.

If you don’t know anything about 3d printing or 3d printers, I encourage you to go watch our introduction to 3d printing video first so that you can have a better understanding exactly of what 3d printers are, how they work, and how they’re used. Remember from that video that a 3d printer is just a tool, but any tool that is used properly can be very powerful especially in education.

3d printers encompass stem subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. We call it stream: Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Art and Math. This is because we can now break those subjects down into more focus points. The great thing about 3d printers is they create hands-on, project-based, cross-curricular learning. They’re powerful tools when you can take and put them in front of a classroom full of kids, or you use them to create objects that can make learning a lot more engaging, practical, and interactive.

The first thing we’re going to talk about are the subjects. We have lesson plans that we created to make 3d printing and education very practical together. On our learning website each lesson plan is broken down into specific subjects. Now a lot of these are cross-curricular based lessons so that way they can use blended style learning.

The first subject is science. We have science subjects that cover frog dissection, molecules, rockets, and even chemical reactions.

Technology is the next subject and is quite a big subject. But this is where we cover our 3d modeling lesson so that you can learn without 3d printing. You can also learn things like gaming design and animations with 3d modeling skills.

Robotics is self-explanatory. We have lessons on robotics that cover the basics of what robots are, how kids can design and make their own, or how you can make your own.

The next subject is Engineering. You can do learn things about architecture and different engineering concepts. You can also learn the history of some things like the Louisiana State Capitol building and catapults. You can learn how catapult works and how they are used in math.

Art is one of the biggest subjects that can be covered in 3d printing, because just about everything in 3d printing is 3d modeled and that digital skill can be used in careers like graphic design and illustrations.

Math of course is a big topic. Just about everything in 3d printing is math. Creating models on a computer uses geometric shapes and geometry. Our catapult lesson can be used in math by teaching angles.

Those are some of the specifics on how 3d printing and education work together. We have a website,, that we created which is an online learning system that was created to take the pressure off anyone trying to use 3d printers in education.

Whether you’re at home, at a library, at a school, or at a museum you can use this website to learn. You can do this yourself or use it as a teaching tool. All the lessons that are associated on the website

are also broken down by different subjects so filter through them.

I hope you learned how 3d printing and education actually work well together and are very powerful together. The greatest thing is that 3d printers give you the ability to create objects that can be used over and over again therefore saving you money on the back end So using this tool the correct way can be very powerful.


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Introduction to 3D Printing

3D printing introduction

This video will teach you the basics about 3d printing technology: 

It will cover: 

  • What is a 3d printer
  • What is 3d printing
  • How 3d printers work 
  • Some of the applications 3d printers used in 
  • Some of the materials that are used in 3d printing

Hopefully by the end of this article you have a clear understanding of what 3d print technology is all about. 


What is 3d printing 

The first thing we will discuss is exactly what 3d printing is. It is a process to make a real life tangible object. It’s taking your idea and making it become a reality. And you do that by using a computer model. You design your concept on a computer and send it to the 3d printer and the 3d printer makes that model. 3d printing is used mostly in two areas and that is product development and prototyping. A lot of companies are using 3d printers to make things. You can create your objects in computers and 3d print them at a very low cost without going through a whole manufacturing process that takes hundreds of thousands of dollars.


What is a 3d printer

A 3d printer is a machine that prints on three axes. They are not like a 2d printer which prints paper or pictures and only has flat surfaces. But if you could take that picture or that text or whatever it is on that piece of paper and pull it up then that’s your third dimension.. 3d printers have an X, a Y, and a Z-axis, at least for most 3d printers. In this case we’re going to talk about fused filament fabrication in this video or that’s F F for short.

The 3d printer has a left and right axis, which is the X; a Y axis, which is the front and back; and a Z which is up and down. Now the 3d printer also has an extruder called the printhead. Some people call it extruder or print head. Those terms can be interchanged. It takes the plastic and feeds it in and squeezes it out onto a print surface called the bed. This bed collects the material.


How does the 3d printing process actually work

First you have to have a computer model. There are many different types of ways you can create a model. We call this process 3D modeling and use CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software to do that. But for the most part you have to create that model in some type of computer program. You do it, or you have someone else do it, or you can actually download those off the internet, but it has to go into a computer. Once that object is into the computer you now have to convert it over to the 3d printer for it to read. This process is called slicing. It basically takes that model that you have and converts it into individual layers and converts it to a code. That code is then given to the 3d printer and then your object is made from that. So the way a 3d printer actually builds it is by taking those layers one upon another and joining them together. This is called additive manufacturing where products or material are actually fused together and melted together to join into one object at the end.


Some of the applications of 3d printing

A lot of architect firms are now getting into 3d printing. Even though you do have 3d renders on a

computer that you can show people, how awesome it is to hand someone a 3d model of their concept. 

These industries are using 3d printers for making models and concepts.. GE made a 3d printable model  of a compression engine of a jet. They put this model out for people to be able to 3d print and was made in different pieces so people could see the inside of a compression engine.

  • Jewelry and fashion 

These industries are using 3d printers now. A lot of artists are also able to create their concepts

and ideas using 3d printing technology. Some are creating movie props. Others such as jewelry designers can 3d model things at such intricate detail. With 3d printers you can have these prototypes of plastic models converted over to metal and you can sell these as a business.


  • Health and medical

An example in the health medical industry is a  prosthetic hand for someone who is missing fingers. What’s crazy about this is the cost. To be able to 3d print a prosthetic now is so much lower than what it used to be. This is disruptive technology which means it could interrupt some of the businesses that are using old methods. But if they adapt they can now use 3d printing technology for these types of things in the health and medical world.


  • Hobby industry 

Users are  making model trains, LEGO pieces, figurines, and different gaming pieces. An example of a hobby object is a 3d printed Joe Burrow statue. This is something I 3d modeled (GEAUX Tigers) after Joe Burrow won the heisman Trophy.


Materials used is in 3d printing

In the 3D technology we’re talking about (FFF- few filament fabrication) plastic is used for most parts. There are many different types but the main two are: PLA and ABS. PLA is a biodegradable plastic. It’s a lot safer to use and it doesn’t have any odor.  ABS which is the plastic that LEGO are made from does have somewhat of an older and is a bit trickier to 3d print. Now each has their own uses. ABS is a little bit stronger than PLA but to each his own use.

With 3d printing you need to understand 3d modeling. That basically means knowing how to create something on a computer that’s a digital 3d model. Now for 3d printing it is a special type of 3d model. With 3d printing and 3d modeling together it can open you up to a wide world of opportunity. But even if you left off 3d printing 3d modeling itself can teach you things like: engineering and architecture, gaming design, graphic design, gaming, you name it. 3d modeling itself can open you up to a world of options but when you combine it with 3d printing you can do so much more in business, in education, or to create stuff as a hobby.