3-D printing demo at Wadesboro Rotary Club meeting

By: For the Record

Members of the Wadesboro Rotary Club will get a first-hand look at one of their investments in education in Anson County at their regular meeting on Thursday.

The club, with 65 members from across the business community, meets each Thursday at noon at Welika Lake in Lilesville.

This week, students and staff from the Youth Career-Connect initiative at Anson High School will demonstrate the operation of, and discuss the career opportunities created by, three-dimensional printing.

Through local funds, a grant from Rotary International District 7680, and matching funds from Anson County Schools, the Wadesboro Rotary Club spearheaded the purchase of four 3-D printers for use in the Youth Career-Connect STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Academy at the high school. Rotarian John Witherspoon was instrumental in the grant preparation process.

“By all accounts, introduction of 3-D printing technology into the YCC Academy has been successful,” Rotarian Dr. Don Altieri, retired president of South Piedmont Community College and the leader of the Wadesboro club’s efforts to promote science education in the Anson County Schools, said. “A primary focus of the YCC program is the introduction of tools to help students build their technical skill sets.”

In addition to the 3-D printers in the YCC program, the technology is also part of instruction in the Wadesboro Rotary Club Planetarium and Science Center, where director Wendy Efird teaches the basic technology to fifth-grade students.

3-D printing is one of the world’s fastest growing technologies, and is expected to be a $23 billion industry by 2021. It is used to produce everything from clothing to cars to prosthetics.

“We want students from Anson County to be competitive, in the marketplace or in getting into the right college programs,” Elaine Clodfelter, president of the Wadesboro Rotary Club, said. “This investment, and others we have made in our schools and our students, will make a difference.”

For the Record