Today, Archbishop William E. Lori, along with Catholic school administrators, principals, and students, announced an initiative that will place 3-D printers in every Archdiocesan Catholic elementary and high school. The announcement was made at St. Philip Neri Catholic School, which has been using the cutting edge technology which allows students to create three dimensional objects from a special printer. The Linthicum Catholic school is one of 13 schools that began receiving the printers this week as part of the initiative’s first phase.
“Today’s announcement solidifies our desire that our schools make every tool available to students as we prepare them for the jobs that await them in this 21st century,” Archbishop Lori said.
The Archdiocese is partnering with 3D Systems, a South Carolina-based company that produces the printers, and STEAM Trax, which has designed a curriculum for schools to more effectively utilize the technology. In the United States, 3D printers are used by NASA and by companies that produce prosthetic limbs and medical devices. Elsewhere they are being used to manufacture homes and commercial buildings. The printers operate by printing or laying down successive layers of materials, such as plastic or cement, to form an object.
Among the schools in the first phase is Holy Angels Catholic School, located on the campus of Seton Keough High School in Southwest Baltimore. A third of the school’s students live in Sandtown-Winchester, the focal point of last week’s protests in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray.
“We saw in the past few weeks just how important it is for every child in our community to have hope,” Archbishop Lori said. “And we believe that the most effective way our Catholic schools can instill and inspire hope for a child’s future is through an outstanding, academically-excellent, faith-based education taught in a nurturing environment.” Archbishop Lori thanked those who contributed to the Archdiocese’s recent capital campaign, which helped to fund the purchase of the printers.