Skip to main content

Walnut valley Unified School District

ALLmeansALL! Walnut Valley USD is proud to be a National Schools to Watch District with numerous National Blue Ribbon, California Gold Ribbon, and California Distinguished School awards. Our motto is KIDS FIRST... Every Student, Every Day!  

Bringing Projects to Life

NEWS                                                                                    Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                   880 S. Lemon Avenue
April 25, 2014                                                                       Walnut, CA 91789

Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204

Bringing Projects to Life
3D printer comes to Panther Country

WALNUT, CA--Eighth grade creative explorers at South Pointe Middle School are now seeing their computer-aided designs come to life.

The school’s Project Lead The Way core has just added a new 3D printer to its classroom.

Science Teacher Crystal Dira couldn’t be more excited for the 60 students in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program.

“Students now get to hold their designs in their hands,” she said. “We are thrilled about this program and how it’s allowing our students to get a heads up with our growing world of technology in education.”

This year, PLTW kids have been focusing on building and programing robotics and working on CAD designs.

Teachers Dira and Kellie Muragishi – science, and Allin Everman – technology, and Deb Brady and Annie Kim – math, were determined to find a way of finding a 3D printer for their students.

They knew it would take an innovative approach to fundraising.

”Let’s see if we can get it!” the team decided. First, they researched affordable 3D printers and funding sources. Then they posted their $2,800 dream printer on the Donors website.

In several weeks, a donor selected the request and fully funded the project. The school’s Community Club pitched in the remaining $100.

The Maker Bot Replicator 2 was delivered during the first week of March. The professional quality printer is designed for engineers or people who like to make things.

The desktop 3D printer is about the same size as a microwave, but doesn’t cook popcorn.

With just a touch of the start button it cruises at a high speed, using filament to produce the detailed designs.

A cartridge smoothly rotates back and forth distributing thin layers of the melted white, red, blue or clear plastic material inside the unit.

And in just 10 minutes, a perfectly shaped comb is ready to be scooped off.

So far, the class has also printed a tiny ape, bracelet, hand, shark, and pick.

“I went online and designed a car,” said Diana Lin.

“We can make a lot of good ideas,” Austin Sun, age 13. The class is talking about designing some practical holders for pencils.

“We think it’s good to have a 3D printer because it exposes us to future technology that will be used the workforce,” Sun said. “It can mass-produce things people have made by hand.”

“The goal of PLTW is to expose us these things so we can have experience in STEM careers.

The robotics computer programming is really neat,” Sun added.

“The little “jaws” was actually one of our first prints. The kids helped me set it up,” Dira said.

They also designed a pick on CAD Auto Desk, a 3D printer program, she said. Some of the miniature designs were already preset in the machine.

Teams of two students are now designing projects for the new high-tech device.

“This is the finishing project for their designs,” Dira said. “We tell the kids if you make something, we’ll do fundraisers for filament!”

Each roll of filament costs $30. The kids already held a fundraiser for more of the liquid gold.

“We made bracelets and sold them for $3 each,” said Britney Shaw.

“This is just one example of how our teachers go above and beyond to make dreams become a reality,” said Principal Susan Arzola.


Austin Sun shows the 1st two-color project, a tiny mallet, made with the 3D printer. 

South Pointe PLTW students Valerie Tsao and Jamie Hsu with some of the 3D creations. 

Science Teacher Crystal Dira gears up the new 3D printer during class.  Also shown with Technology Teacher Allin Everman. 

South Pointe Middle School has a new 3D printer for the Project Lead The Way program. The 3D printer creates a full-size comb in just minutes. 

South Pointe students demonstrate how the flexible hand can hold the mallet created on the 3D printer.