Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityTalladega County 8th grader solves problem for local business through 3D printing | WBMA
Close Alert

Talladega County 8th grader solves problem for local business through 3D printing

Charles R. Drew Middle School student, Trenton Rainey, demonstrates 3-D printing, SOURCE: ABC 33/40.{ }{p}{/p}
Charles R. Drew Middle School student, Trenton Rainey, demonstrates 3-D printing, SOURCE: ABC 33/40.

Facebook Share IconTwitter Share IconEmail Share Icon
Comment bubble

Innovation in the classroom is leading to real-world problem-solving in Talladega County as a middle schooler uses 3D printing to come up with a solution to a safety issue at a local business.

Trenton Rainey is an 8th grader at Charles R. Drew Middle School. He's also a part of the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) program, and robotics program.

"I actually like doing this, it's fun and I get to use my imagination," said Rainey.

Recently, Harris Rebar in Riverside needed some of that imagination to protect crane remotes for a company-wide safety initiative.

"It's a safety thing. We have gone through extensive lengths to protect our teammates," explained Craig Rose, the Operations Manager. "In this case, there are a lot of near misses and in some cases injuries where the crane was activated unexpectedly while it was still in the operator's control. So, this forces them to take it out of their hands but it also protects it from being bumped and activated without wanting it to."

When the company began looking at their options for creating a new remote holster, Rose knew the middle school had 3D printers.

SEE ALSO: Auburn University researchers working on affordable housing solutions through 3D printing

READ MORE: Numeracy Act passes Alabama Senate, designed to boost student math skills

He handed the project off to Principal Tim Young. It didn't take long for students to find the solution.

The students started going through the Engineering Design Process. Rainey, who lead the project, told ABC 33/40, his classmates asked him questions about the design to help him get started.

"It took me one class period, really just 45 minutes to design the first basic design," said Rainey.

Once the first design was printed, revisions were made for durability and comfort. "The belt hook was too skinny, so it broke. So I had to design this version which is thicker. So it's going to be harder to break," explained Rainey.

Teachers at the school believe real-world problem solving is what their students need to get to the next level.

"When it is really, real, it means so much more to them. He has taken so much pride in this project. When you can involve stakeholders and the community, they take ownership of it," said Kelley Dunston, the STEAM and Robotics teacher.

Principal Young describes the project as an opportunity the school has been looking for.

"We are not new to project-based learning, but being in a rural area, we don't have the quick access always to business and so, this opportunity was one we've been looking forward to. To partner with a business and solve something that's real," he said.

This is the school's first year for robotics. They are hoping the success of this project will continue to move the program forward.

"We are not just preparing students for today, we are preparing them for the jobs of the future which are already here," said Monique Chatman, a Technology Integration Specialist at the middle school. "We know that coding is important. We know that computer science is important. Having students get an opportunity to get their hands on robotic and understand computation thinking. It is critical."

Comment bubble

Rainey said this project was especially important to him because he was helping others. He has plans to continue that work in the future as an engineer.

Loading ...