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2/1/2016 12:16:00 PM
3-D tech has St. Agatha student thinking
Arnaud Prevot, technology teacher at St. Agatha School, and eighth grader Harry Hanna show creations from a 3-D printer.
Arnaud Prevot, technology teacher at St. Agatha School, and eighth grader Harry Hanna show creations from a 3-D printer.

Eighth-grader Harry Hanna’s voice perks up with excitement when you ask him about technology.

St. Agatha School in Southeast Portland has not only basic computer stuff, but a 3-D printer. St. Agatha is one of only two Catholic schools in Portland that have the futuristic technology. 3-D printers take images created on a computer screen and turn them into plastic objects you can hold in your hand.

What was Harry’s reaction the first time he saw St. Agatha’s 3-D printer create something? “I thought it would be cool if I could do that at my own house,” says the 13-yr-old. So, he and his family bought one together.

“Mr. Prevot [the school’s technology teacher] and the 3-D printer have opened the door to an exciting new world. Harry has seized this opportunity,” says his mother Julie.

Arnaud Prevot started teaching in St. Agatha’s “Father Slider Technology & Science Wing” in 2014.

Since then the school received a $10,000 grant from the Juan Young Trust to purchase 30 Chromebooks while auction donations paid for iPads.

St. Agatha students learn about things like typing and coding and taking apart and rebuilding computers.

“My philosophy is to keep it useful and practical,” says Prevot. “This helps them get a leg up in high school, college and life. So, they can help others and the environment.”

Chris Harris, the school’s principal, is excited about the direction of the program. “Students are able to explore what they are learning and experience it in ways that were not previously possible,” he says.

For now, Harry is using his 3-D printer to make his parents Christmas ornaments and organizing tools. But, he doesn’t plan to stop there. “The sky’s the limit – one day 3-D printers could build desks, mailboxes, skyscrapers,” says the student. “I think it’s a great adventure.”

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