Here’s a Christmas story that goes full circle. Stevenson Middle School students made toys using 3D printers and donated them to Shriners Hospital Wednesday.
The students were able to get new 3D printers because a STEM teacher at the school, Patricia Morgan, was one of the finalists of a $100-thousand grant from Farmers Insurance last year. You may have even voted for her.
Seventh and eighth graders from Stevenson Middle School wanted to give back to other kids with the tools they received. For families at Shriners who are away from home, a kind gesture like this goes a long way.
46 students brought bags of toys along with holiday cheer. They had arms full of custom-made T-shirts, blankets, and other donated items. Of course, the unique gifts were the interactive games the students made using their new 3D printers.
“I hope they know that people care about them because sometimes it might be hard given their situation,” said eighth-grader Roza Makanani.
Educators see the great value in STEM, short for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and believe it’s preparing students for future jobs that don’t exist yet.
“The students are really learning how to collaborate with each other. They’re learning how to build from the ground up. Their learning how to find a problem and find solutions,” said Principal Katherine Balatico.
They’re also experiencing the joy of giving back to the community.
“I’m really glad we can help them and brighten up their day,” said eighth-grader Ethan Uehara.
For Joseph Sowuth and his daughter Shawntelle, who is a patient at Shriners, they’re nothing but grateful after the challenges the family’s been through.
“I believe in God so I say that’s a blessing. Blessing to people who find in their hearts to do this,” said Sowuth. “We away from home. Seeing things like this really makes us close to home.”