Lakewood High School

A Colorado teacher has figured out how to use 3D printing to take his students to outer space. Matthew Brown teaches engineering and design, sustainability, renewable energy and construction at Lakewood High School and Warren Technical School, both in the Jefferson County, Colorado, school district. When Brown received a new equipment budget a few years ago, he took the opportunity to add a next-level teaching aide to his classrooms.

He researched available 3D printers with his main criterion being the ability to build parts that are strong and durable enough that they can be assembled, machined, finished, handled, tested and used in real-world applications. Brown decided that FDM (fused deposition modeling) technology best met his requirements so he purchased a Dimension BST 1200es 3D Printer and later added a Dimension SST 1200 3D Printer and a Fortus 250mc 3D Printer.


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Jefferson County students test their Hydrofuge prototype in zero gravity. Their design attempts to help grow plants in space.

Jefferson County students test their Hydrofuge prototype in zero gravity. Their design attempts to help grow plants in space.

“Our kids can put on their résumé that they designed and built an experiment that flew on the International Space Station.”

Matthew Brown, engineering teacher, Lakewood High School and Warren Technical School