Two members of the Woodbridge Campus’ 3-D Printing Club, Anthony Salas and Kareem Omeish, went to Occoquan Elementary School to donate a series of tactile books to a fourth grade student who is learning to read Braille.
The physical design of the books was downloaded from the internet and produced in the Woodbridge 3-D Technology Innovation Lab. The books were donated to help fulfill the mission of the lab which is to focus on using 3-D fabrication and technology to help people in the community. The donated books are the first in a series of 3-D objects that will be given to children in the Prince William County community.
Salas and Omeish learned how to assemble, maintain and modify 3-D printers on campus while also participating in and hosting community events in the Woodbridge Technology Innovation Lab. Skills such as 3-D design, polymer chemistry, computer programming and robotic mechanics were discussed during a series of seminars that took place in partnership with Manassas Innovation Garage, a local 3-D maker/design group. The partnership culminated last December in a one-of-a-kind event: a 3-D Printed Christmas Ornament Exchange, where more than 100 3-D-printed Christmas ornaments were exchanged between community members and students ranging in age from 3 to 84 years old.
Lawrence Nightingale, the evening and weekend coordinator at the Woodbridge Campus, recalls how the Woodbridge Technology Innovation Lab began.
“I came up with the idea for the Technology Innovation Lab after the dean of the Business and Social Science Department and I collaborated on a 3-D printing summer camp at the Woodbridge Campus,” Nightingale said. “After the summer camps were over, the new Technology Innovation Lab focused on helping others because service learning is an impactful and beneficial practice. The Technology Innovation Lab is operating according to plan and I hope that our students see themselves as people who can make any object and that they realize that NOVA’s Woodbridge Campus provides a unique opportunity to make it possible.”
Community programming will continue throughout the academic year and summer in the Technology Innovation Lab. Interested parties should contact Nightingale at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a visit and demonstration.