But, of all these technologies, I am convinced that 3D design and printing has had the most direct impact on the lives of those who are exposed to it.
It goes well beyond 3D printing itself. In fact, I doubt that many or any of the students that we reach through YouthQuest Foundation will go on to own or even use a 3D printer in the future. But, in the few short months that they have access to a 3D printer they will come to realize the power of their brain's ability to come up with unique and creative solutions. They will be better plumbers; better electricians and more energized people in whatever their chosen profession.
We use the phrase "Turn on YOUR brain!" when introducing our students to the 3D ThinkLink classes and we have seen it do just that, class after class.
But, YouthQuest, and the Youth ChalleNGe programs with which we work, are not alone in this belief. And, I was reminded of this just this morning when I received an email from Jeff Epps of the Richmond County G.R.E.A.T 3D Academy in Hamlet, N.C.
In this case, he wrote about a young man, named Ben, that DID find a position in the 3D printing industry. The cool thing for me was that Ben started his new job on my birthday. And, while I have never met Ben, he gave me one of my most memorable birthdays ever.
Just as with our students, Ben was helped to be introduced to 3D design and printing by 3D Systems through their support for programs like YouthQuest and G.R.E.A.T. But, in Ben's case, the story came full circle. I won't give away the plot. But, please enjoy this video that was sent to me by Jeff in honor of Ben's achievement.
And, thank you Jeff Epps, Richmond County Schools for making my day with this G.R.E.A.T. story!
But, special thanks to 3D Systems that help make this young man's dreams a reality.