SE3D is always seeking to collaborate with like-minded partners on every level. One of our notable partners is the innovation community PilotCity whom we collaborated with in their workforce incubator program over the last year. PilotCity hosted a workforce incubator program at Irvington High school in the Spring of 2018 and the program’s goal was to introduce new technology such as bioprinting to students who would then brainstorm to find unique solutions to a worldly issue of their choice. By the end of the 8-10 week program, students pitched their ideas to SE3D. Additionally, teachers participating in the program were trained in bioprinting and gained relevant externship experience. Many groups came up with real life problems with practical solutions and applications.
Chocolate printing was by far the most popular choice. Five groups opted to do their projects on chocolate printing, but the intents and purposes varied wildly, from creating a 3D models of real life celebrities and objects as prizes for fundraisers to printing molecular models as visual aid for chemistry fundamentals. Through this experience, students quickly discovered how difficult and technical chocolate printing was due to the temperature and tempering requirements.
Our favorite projects included a focus on elderly care and healthcare. Two groups focused on 3D printing food for the elderly but managed to come up with completely different solutions. One group’s solution was to 3D print a carrot purée with food coloring as a soft food solution for those with trouble chewing. The other group focused on 3D printed gelatin mixed with medicine to make swallowing medication enjoyable and fun.
Another group of students focused on scaffolds of meniscus and patella for knee injuries and birth defects. This group printed the scaffolds using alginate and printed them inside calcium chloride. Our final favorite project targeted neural tissue grafts with a focus on Parkinson’s disease using cellular therapy and stem cells. They printed a cylinder scaffold with a 22 gauge needle for high accuracy.
The presentations were incredible for students at the high school level and we were amazed by how much IHS students achieved with respect to their independence, public speaking, and creating thinking skills through this program. This program also provided students a unique opportunity to work directly with an industry partner. Exceptional students were selected from the program to participate in a summer internship with SE3D. To learn about what bioprinting opportunities and resources may be available to your classroom, click here.