Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 05-23-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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8 IN OUR SCHOOLS MAY 23-29, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION Open for business WOONSOCKET – Early on a Thursday morning, a group of stu- dents crowd around the 3D printer in Kristine Letellier's 3rd-, 4th- and 5th-grade classroom at Bernon Heights Elementary School. The stu- dents watch as the printer's pointed end manipulates row after row of hot plastic into a pre-determined pattern. When it's finished, they remove the plastic from the printer and carefully peel it from its solid base, holding it up to admire their new creation: a small green robot, about two inches tall and based on a digital model they designed. While it might seem like an art project or a crash course in STEM skills, Letellier explains there's much more behind the students' recent efforts with the 3D printer. About a month ago, the class decided to revive a school store that was previ- ously run by the PTO. The students were learning about money and needed a way to put their newfound knowledge into practice. "It was very interesting to see kids who know math yet you put coins in front of them and they don't know how to make change," explained Letellier. The students began selling school supplies donated by Raymond Geddes School Supplies every Friday at 2 p.m. in the school lobby. Then, a couple weeks in, Jessica Donato, a blended learning coach, had an idea that changed the direc- tion of the project. Donato often works with students on the 3D print- er, and said she's always looking for ways to apply the technology to real world situations. "I said to Mrs. Letellier, would you have your kids come up with something to make in the school store? It's the beginning of a busi- ness," she told The Valley Breeze. The printer opened up new pos- sibilities for the project, and students began brainstorming items they could design and sell to their class- mates. Keychains with the word "Bernon" on them were a popular choice, as were "Words of Wisdom" keychains featuring inspirational messages such as "hope." "If they're struggling with some- thing, they can look at it and it'll make them feel better," explained 5th-grader Angel Febus, one of the students who came up with the idea. With the project now using actual school materials instead of donated supplies, students had to start think- ing about production costs. The spools of plastic filament used by the 3D printer run about $20 apiece, no small amount when you're print- ing dozens of keychains. It was a learning opportunity for students such as Elijah Carlson-Robidoux, who did some quick calculations to determine at what price they should sell a 3D-printed robot. "Our spool is $20, so we spend 90 cents every robot, so we make it cost $1.50 because we need to make a profit," he said. The 3D printer comes with pre- programmed templates, but Donato said she tries to avoid those because she wants the students to design their own. The kids were looking forward to introducing their new creations to their classmates, while Donato and Letellier were excited to teach them about customer service and business practices without the students realizing they were getting a lesson. "People think this is about tech- nology. It's about thinking," said Donato. By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer lauren@valleybreeze.com Bernon Heights students revive school store with 3D-printed creativity Staff and students helping to revive the school store at BERNON HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL include, above, from left, teacher's assistant Leslie Nelligan, blended learning coach Jessica Donato, Jamie Chattman, Justin Robidoux, Logen Vanasse, Jacob Thifault, Angel Febus, Gabriella Rossi, Elijah Bage, Jonathan Diaz and teacher Kristine Letellier. Also in the class (not pictured) are Shamrock Thoun, Elijah Carlson-Robidoux and Zachary Warhurst. At left, JAMIE CHATTMAN shows off the "Bernon" key chain he helped create as part of a class project to design and sell 3D-printed objects in the newly revived school store. 2044 Smith St., North Providence, RI (401) 231-2370 fax (401) 232-9220 www.ourplacetux.com Tuxedo RenTal h e a d q u a R T e R s $ 40 Off with this ad! 14 Days Notice! • Largest selection of Tuxedo Styles • Largest selection of colors and shades of accessories • All stocked in one location locally • We honor competitor's coupons SINGLE OR SPLIT LIMIT COVERAGE? When purchasing auto insurance, it is important to know the differences between single and split limit liability coverage. Single limit liability coverage provides one flat amount for coverage limits that is applied for everyone involved in the accident. 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