The breakout session, “Building Cloud-Connected 3-D Printing Labs That Transform Learning and Engage Students,” included a panel discussion that featured Mike Pitcher, Academic Technologies (AT) director, and Oscar Perez, Ph.D., AT instructional technologist, who talked about UTEP’s Learning Environments 3-D printing pilot program. The popular program launched during the fall 2015 semester to give faculty and students from any major a no-cost opportunity to learn the benefits of 3-D manufacturing. The student-staffed initiative now serves a minimum of 400 students per semester.
Perez and Pitcher shared how to build an efficient, effective and sustainable campus-serving 3-D printing infrastructure. They offered best practices to manage the facilities and recent research about the value of 3-D printing to student learning. Their goal was to help others understand how to manage a fabrication lab, develop realistic expectations, and realize the impact of 3-D printing on the student perceptions to technology.
Steve Riter, Ph.D., vice president for information resources and planning, praised the Learning Environments team, a branch of UTEP’s AT group, and called the invitation to present at EDUCAUSE an accomplishment.
“EDUCAUSE is the premier educational technology conference in the world,” Riter said. “To be featured there is an honor for (the program) and for UTEP.”
The other LE team members are Randy Anaya, Pedro Espinoza, Hugo Gomez, Herminia Hemmitt and Hector Lugo.