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A 3D printer sits in the corner of a math and science classroom at Andrew Jackson Elementary School in South Philadelphia.

The fifth graders are using it to make all sorts of items.

Aniya Watts is designing 3D emoji`s.

“Emojis on everything. Like your clothes, your earrings, your necklaces and stuff,” she said.

At the beginning of the year, the students learn the ins and outs of the printer. Then they design a product, write a business plan, pick business partners, then create the product.

Jayda Pugliese is the teacher. Last year, she raised more four-thousand dollars for the printer through a crowdfunding site.

This is her first full school year with the printer, and she said the students are learning a lot about the technology and each other.

“There`s a lot of communication going on so it builds that social element and there`s a lot of building that`s going on so it gives it that hands on kinesthetic learning,” she said.

The students are using the printer for more than just classwork. They recently went online and found out how to use the printer to make a prosthetic hand like this one for someone to use. It only cost them 20 dollars to make.

“It has been a very good way to contribute, beyond just teaching them what a 3-d printer does,” said Pugliese. “Giving them that exposure, those skills that are so critical of what the future is going to bring, it`s just humbling to know that i`m able to provide that to them on a daily basis.”


Pugliese is looking into raising money for another printer so they can do twice the work.

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