Nearly a year ago, the Locke JetSpace at Alain Leroy Locke High School in south Los Angeles was created in the hopes of promoting student creativity and self-expression in a safe and friendly environment. Since its inception, the JetSpace has really taken off and has now become ingrained in the everyday lives of the students. Among the Zeus 3D printer at the space are VR headsets, Chromebooks, iPads, recording equipment, invention kits, many books, all kinds of maker tools and much much more.
A music studio within the space was also established and is managed by the students alongside an array of different programs with outside partners such as the Vans Shoe Design Program and NASA future of fashion program.
The space hosts a number of student-led events as well, ranging from art shows to 3D printing and design classes.
A notable project that students at the space are currently working on is the design of systems for autonomous self-directed learning.
These students have accomplished so much just in this past school year, many beginning with little knowledge of these various technologies.
The majority of the students had never experienced 3D printing before but now they have grown comfortable with the 3D design and printing process, and everything in between.
Agustin, the Learning Director of the JetSpace spoke with us a little about the space and mentioned that the students have since created over 200 customized objects with their Zeus.
They also use the Zeus to create badges for their "Challenge System" in which students earn badges by completing challenges and accumulating points.
"The value of the printer (in my opinion) is that it allows students to create durable, polished learning artifacts that are functional and expression of themselves. This is not the norm in education" Agustin told us.
Having these amazing resources for the students makes them want to learn. Instead of writing a monotonous essay for a class, they are able to create something real and tangible that they can be truly proud of and show off to friends and family. This further drives their hunger to learn more and improve their skills with real hands-on experiences that are also preparing them for their future careers with the added benefit of providing a safe and productive pastime to immerse themselves in.