ALCS Families Join to Acquire Leading-Edge 3D Printer for School

In a remarkable demonstration of support for student learning—and fulfilling our shared vision of equipping students with real world 21st century skills—our Alta Loma Christian School community of families and businesses have joined together to give over $4,200 in gifts to acquire a new MakerBot Replicator+ 3D printer for the school and make ALCS its permanent home!

In the words of ALCS Director of Innovation, Mrs. Laura Deck: “Woowowwowowowowowo!”

“I cannot overstate how impressed I am with the generosity and support of our ALCS families and our family-held businesses. They are remarkable,” explained ALCS Head of School, Dr. Vance Nichols. “They have truly come through for the good of our kids and for all our students’ finest futures, which gives glory to God. All of us at ALCS are very, very thankful.”

And excited, too. This school year, for the first time ever at ALCS, students have been having an opportunity to encounter and interact with a leading-edge 3D printer as part of the school’s ongoing enhancement and integration of educational technology on campus. Because ALCS was able to raise the necessary funds in the needed time frame, the 3D printer that has been on loan to the school will remain here until it is replaced by a brand new MakerBot Replicator+ that is now already on its way. That will allow for uninterrupted student learning and use of the device to continue.

The school received ten sponsorship gifts totaling over $4,200 toward purchasing the new 3D printer. The generous donations came from the jointly operated business of two of ALCS’ school families, and from eight additional ALCS families.

The quoted cost for ALCS to purchase the brand new, state-of-the-art 3D printer was beyond the school’s budget. As a result, Dr. Nichols and ALCS Director of Innovation, Mrs. Laura Deck, sought a donor or donors for the 21st century learning tool, in order to make ALCS the permanent home of a new MakerBot Replicator+.

“We continued to ask our families and businesses to consider how they might partner with us to help complete sponsorship for this 21st century learning tool,” said Dr. Nichols. “We believe this is needed to keep our kids on track, to give our students a real, tangible advantage for their future. We see 3D printing and related emerging technologies as a necessity for our students, not a luxury. If we don’t view things that way and act accordingly, then our kids will be left behind rather than leading the way, and that is not acceptable.”

“This is the next step for us as a school,” said Mrs. Deck. “It’s time to move into applied computing.” Mrs. Deck, who is both a Google Certified Educator and a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator, attended the ISTE 2017 Conference in San Antonio over the summer. ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) is regarded as the single-most important annual ed tech gathering in the world, and sets school and education standards for technology learning in the U.S. and abroad.

“These are the kinds of things that give students huge advantages in their education, and are only possible when schools are willing to innovate from the inside out,” explained Dr. Nichols, who was an Innovation Scholar at the University of Southern California in 2015, one of 68 graduate scholars from Harvard, Stanford, USC, the University of Pennsylvania, and Arizona State University selected for the honor. “What educational innovators understand is that students must have access to new learning experiences that equip them for the future—for their future—in real ways. That’s our mindset at ALCS. We’ve made that commitment to our kids, and you can see it woven throughout our new strategic plan, EagleVision 2022. Now, do all of that within the context of a very clear, biblical perspective, and you give students a unique opportunity that’s available at very few schools, especially with the level of personalized instruction that’s provided at ALCS.”

All sponsors who made donations toward the purchase of the MakerBot Replicator+ will receive sponsorship recognition permanently displayed near the high tech device. Those with qualifying gifts (one-time or cumulative amounts of $250 or above during the school year) will also be recognized as a Wings of Distinction Partner, including corporate and/or family recognition in ALCS publications, such as EagleLink, on the school’s website, and on display in the main office.

For more information about the MakerBot Replicator+ 3D Printer and how educational technology is being utilized to teach our students 21st century skills and give them a leading-edge advantage, please contact Mrs. Deck at ldeck@alchristian.com. For more information about partnering with the school on future endeavors that will help equip each of our students for his or her finest future—including achieving the goals of our new strategic initiative, EagleVision 2022—please contact Dr. Nichols at vnichols@alchristian.com.