An Oxford High School librarian has been published in the Journal of the American Association of School Librarians, Knowledge Quest, for her work with the 3D printer she purchased with a $6,000 from the Oxford School District Foundation.
In 2014, Amanda Osborne began thinking about 3-D printing when she learned that the Mississippi Library Commission would loan school libraries a printer for programming. She was curious about the technology and wanted to share with her school community the sense of wonder it brought.
Earlier this year, she had the opportunity to partner with the Lafayette County and Oxford Public Library to bring a loaner 3-D printer to the school library. This was the “ah-ha” moment for Osborne when she knew she needed to purchase a 3D printer for the school library’s maker-space to shift the culture of the library from a “sit and get” to a “make and take” environment.”
After receiving grant funds, Osborne collaborated with English II teacher Brittany Franks to use the 3D printer to help students create gingerbread houses to display at the annual Gingerbread Village at the Gertrude C. Ford Center at the University of Mississippi.
For this assignment, students were asked to write an original Christmas story, making the setting the most important part. Students were instructed to choose a scene from their story to recreate in 3-D and draw a detailed plan for the “gingerbread” model. While advanced technology is typically only available to students enrolled in STEM classes, Osborne invited these ELA students – who are typically in the bottom 25 percentile – to use the 3D printer to understand how authors design a setting to tell their story.
Osborne shared that “investing in technology for the school library ensures that all students, regardless of their achievement on standardized tests, will have access to innovative tools to learn digital skills necessary to thrive in 21st-century college and career environments.”
Students have since used the 3D printer for science fair projects, AP World History prototypes, replacement mouthpieces for band instruments, building molecular atom sets for Biology, and reading fair projects. The 3D MakerBot Replicator Plus uses a PLA filament (polylactic acid), which a vegetable-based plastic material made of cornstarch that is melted and then layered to create the design.
This year, Osborne received an additional $5000 grant from the OSD Foundation to purchase 30 OculousGo virtual reality stand-alone headsets. This week, she is taking a biology class on a virtual journey through the cell.