Local News

Rutland students dominate at 3D printer competition

By Stephen Seitz

RUTLAND—Students from Rutland High School and Rutland Middle School both claimed first place at the third annual 3D Modeling Event, held this year on March 24 at the Vermont Technical Center in Randolph.
“This was our third year of participation,” said the students’ coach, Rutland High STEM teacher Laurie Wilson. “With that experience, we had a feel for what was being emphasized. It introduces the students to 3D printers, and provides a great opportunity for learning and growth.”
The high school team claimed first place among the high school teams with their models of historic structures within Chittenden. In the middle school category, Rutland Middle School claimed first place with their rendering of the historic Paramount Theater.
The high school team—Brennan Franzoni, Callon Fish, Brandon Levesque, and Victoria Quint—tackled the Chittenden project. They produced 3D models of Chittenden’s Grange Hall, the Eddy House and the 1914 power station.
“Projects like this are a fascinating way to learn,” said Wilson. “It makes it more real for the kids.”
The Eddy House does not refer to Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science. Rather, the Eddy brothers William and Horatio, and their sister, Mary, lived in a ramshackle farmhouse rumored to haunted by ghosts. The word got out and spread to the point where some in the Spiritualist movement referred to Chittenden as the “Spirit Capital of the Universe.”
In 1900, the Chittenden Power Co. started work on the Chittenden reservoir. After its completion in 1909, the power company built a hydropower generating station.
“The station came along at about the time incandescent light bulbs became common,” Wilson said.
3D Vermont Modeling Event Is an annual competition among Vermont schools in which contestants create digital 3D printed models of historic town buildings and study the history and background of both the buildings and the towns.
“Not only do these projects foster a stronger sense of community value and identity, they leave our young Vermonters with a new set of skills that, if they choose, they can immediately apply in a career context,” said Secretary of Education Rebecca Holcombe in a written statement.
The Vermont Agency of Education worked with the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, Hartford School District, SketchUP, CTL Computers, and Vermont Technical College to organize the event last Friday. Event Founder Mike Hathorn from Hartford High School created the concept of the competition from a project he did several years ago creating historic town centers online with SketchUP.

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