Students and educators explore 3-D design and printing

Students, teachers and parents participated Monday in the inaugural Idaho Day of Design.

Nearly 300 people gathered in Boise to learn about 3-D design and printing, part of Tinkercad’s West Coast TinkerTour.

“The Idaho STEM Action Center is building STEM awareness and is providing free professional development,” said Erica Compton, program manager for the Idaho STEM Action Center.

Design Day STEM

Tinkercad is a free online 3-D design and printing tool. The software is used to make toys, prototypes and home decor. Tinkercad experts presented hands-on technology featuring Tinkercrafting and 3-D design skills.

“I enjoy the different minds coming to Idaho to make the maker movement stronger, said Amy Armstrong, a librarian at the West Ada School District’s Heritage Middle School. “Events like these help me understand programs I want to teach my students.”

The Idaho STEM Action Center anticipates job growth in STEM careers by 2024 — 14 percent growth in computing, 9 percent in engineering and 23 percent in advanced manufacturing, including 3-D printing and design.

Design Day2

“We want 3-D printing to get into more schools and this is helping teachers understand software,” Compton said.

The STEM Action Center, the Meridian Library District and the Boise Public Library hosted the event.