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Brooklyn teachers can get a MakerBot Replicator by raising about $100

Brooklyn schools can have a MakerBot and a bunch of filament and a contract to keep the machine working by raising less money that it would cost to buy a fancy pair of shoes. They need to act by the end of the year.

The founders of Launch Lane's inaugural cohort. (Courtesy photo)

Brooklyn schools can have a MakerBot 3D printer and a bunch of filament and a contract to keep the machine working by raising less money than it would cost to buy a fancy pair of shoes.

Yesterday in Manhattan, MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis announced that his company was partnering with DonorsChoose.orgAmerica Makes and AutoDesk to launch MakerBot Academy. The company said it was answering the call from the President to find ways to restore American manufacturing. To that end, they want to get a MakerBot Replicator 2 into every public school in the country.

On the MakerBot Academy website, it says in the FAQ that the program’s goal is to get the machines into as many classrooms as possible by the end of the year. To get a Replicator, a teacher has to go onto Donors Choose and create a project for his or her classroom. They can do so here.

The language on that page has a very powerful message for Brooklyn teachers. It says: “Teachers in Brooklyn, NY will qualify for Almost Home funding from Makerbot. Almost Home funding may become available for projects in other locations at a later date.”

“Almost Home” funding means that a corporation has committed to cover the entire cost of the project except the last $100’ish dollars (usually $95 or $98, according to the link above).

Technically Brooklyn has not been able to ascertain how much a non-Brooklyn teacher would need to commit to raise in order to acquire a classroom bundle.

“As a former teacher, I believe strongly in creating a new model for innovation. A MakerBot is a manufacturing education in a box,” said Pettis in a statement. “We need to encourage our teachers and our youth to think differently about manufacturing and innovation. When you have a MakerBot Desktop 3D Printer, you see the world differently. Instead of waiting for someone to create a product for you, you can create your own. It can change the whole paradigm of how our children will see innovation and manufacturing in America.”

Could getting Replicator 2’s into more affluent public schools that are also more likely to be able to crowdfund the purchase of a MakerBot bundle drive sales for the company? Maybe.

When kids come home after using the school’s 3D printer, they might ask their parents for one at home. So it could be some very clever marketing, but this is also a big opportunity here for Kings County teachers. That said, there are only six weeks to act and it takes a few days to get campaigns approved on DonorsChooose, so educators need to move swiftly.

They are also enlisting the Thingiverse community to upload curricula to the site, for use in classrooms.


Companies: MakerBot
Series: Brooklyn

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