Walk the trails of Lost River Cave and Basil Griffin Park and you’ll see signs created by a group of Henry F. Moss Middle School students with their 3D printer as part of a Student Technology Leadership Program project.
On Thursday, as nearly 12,000 students, educators, volunteers, community members and parents descend on Lexington for the STLP State Championship, the students from Adam Vincent’s class will join them to showcase their work.
“I’m really proud of them,” said Vincent, who said 38 students will travel to the championship at Rupp Arena with 12 projects between them.
Vincent, a technology and music education teacher, credited his wife with the idea, but his students have spent the entire school year making it their own. They include seventh-grader Courtney Fisher, eighth-grader Semir Hodzic, seventh-grader Mevludin Mujic, eighth-grader Trevor Olson, eighth-grader Ruben Hoang and seventh-grader Selvedina Salihovic.
On Tuesday, the students were putting the finishing touches on their project presentation. On Thursday, more than 650 projects will be on display at the 11th annual state championship.
Students show what they can do in the arts, sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics through nearly 50 different competition areas.
Winners across different categories will be recognized at the event, but the top three best in state STLP projects will travel to Philadelphia in June to represent Kentucky at the International Society for Technology in Education Conference/Expo, according to the Kentucky Department of Education.
For Selvedina, this will be her first trip to the state STLP Championship, and she’s looking forward to seeing what students have come up with.
For Courtney, the chance to help her community is what’s most rewarding.
“I think it’s helped in a way,” she said of the signs, adding they help make the outdoors more accessible for local families. “I’m mainly just glad that we helped somebody.”
Students played different roles to make the project a reality, with Ruben helping design the trail markers through the 3D printer. The device allows creation of a physical object from a three-dimensional, digital model by laying down many thin layers of material.
Learning how to program the machine to produce the result he wanted was challenging for the first few days, but “I’m a fast learner,” Ruben said.
Ruben said he liked getting to help out the county parks department and is looking forward to showing off the project at the state championship.
“I get to represent Moss,” Middle School, he said.
– For more information about STLP, visit stlp.education.ky.gov.