STEM Award Goes To Accessible 3D Printing Project

When you are a 15-year old and you see a disabled student drop the contents of their lunch tray while walking to a table, what do you do? If you are [Adaline Hamlin], you design a 3D printed attachment for the trays to stop it from happening again.

The work was part of “Genius Hour” where [Hamlin’s] teacher encouraged students to find things that could be created to benefit others. An initial prototype used straws to form stops to fit plates, cups, and whatever else fit on the tray. [Zach Lance], a senior at the school’s 3D printing club, helped produce the actual 3D printed pieces.

[Hamlin] won the Tennessee STEM and Innovation Network’s STEM for ALL Award, and she is making the design available to other schools where it can help other students. We aren’t sure how the parts attach to the lunch tray, but we suspect some glue is involved.

We love seeing young inventors and their projects. If you haven’t worked with students before, it is a very rewarding experience. There are lots of potential activities. You can help and many high school teachers are doing an amazing job teaching our kinds of things to kids. Better still, they are sharing their experiences and materials with a worldwide audience.

7 thoughts on “STEM Award Goes To Accessible 3D Printing Project

  1. In Korean schools the tray is also the bowl + plate + cutlery holder. They are a single piece of stainless steel with depressions punched into them. Nothing to lose!

    1. It used to be that way in the schools I went to in the USA.

      Some schools had compartmentalized trays, other schools had flat trays with regular plates and glasses.

      There’s no centralized school system in the USA. Schools are owned and operated by the local city or county. They all do things whatever way seems most reasonable for the location and the resources.

      1. Food is only supposed to provide energy.
        Be happy, that the school serves food. Our schools doesn’t, unless parents pay for it. And only some schools. We had to bring lunch ourselves.

        1. While true, that is a sad way to look at food and an otherwise great opportunity to keep children happier and wanting to be in school.

          For every 20 schools that haven’t figured it out there is one school that manages to feed children good (and energy providing) meals at the same cost as industrial slop. Having moved for essentially every school year, I saw good and bad school foods (some free, some paid) and the schools that provided good tasting food always had happier students, less fights at lunch time and it at least appeared like my peers paid better attention after lunch.

          If we ascribed to the “its just energy, it doesn’t matter” camp with everything life would be right shite. You have the ability and the resource cost is the same, fix it. In the same vein, “well some people don’t have it so you are lucky” is another lazy cop out response. Considering how much shittier other people have it shouldn’t be a part of your planning process. Could you imagine a landlord telling tenants “well the apartments across town never had heat be happy yours words 10% of the time.

          Strive for improvement, make the best use of your resources/budget and think of your fellow wo/man.

    2. At least you got food at school. When I went to school, if my parents didn’t give me anything to take with me, I’d be hungry. I don’t know of a single school in my country that provides lunch to the kids. Not in primary schools, not in high schools, not in higher education. Although some higher education schools have a sort of cafeteria where you can buy some food stuff, comparable to a gas station in most cases.

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