HELP NEEDED: Theft of 3D printer at Burien school leaves student program flat


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Over Spring Break 2018, Big Picture Secondary School in Burien was broken into and a teacher’s personal 3D printer was stolen. Student projects using the printer came to an abrupt halt and could not be completed this school year.

Initially, there was hope that the printer would be recovered, but it has been months and there have been no leads.

Teachers and students have started a fundraiser to try and replace the 3D printer.

Teacher Tracey Drum originally received the 3D printer and training to use it via a grant through the University of Washington. The grant’s intent was for the printer to belong to Drum so that, in the event she ever moves schools, the printer would move with her. However, since it was her property, Highline School District insurance doesn’t apply to cover its theft.

When Highline Council PTSA President Scott Ryan heard of this tragedy, he couldn’t walk away.

“It made my blood boil,” Ryan said. “It’s bad enough that someone would break into a school, but to take away the opportunity of who-knows-how-many cohorts of students to learn career-determining technology, that simply will not stand.”

“Initially, I wanted to create a GoFundMe page to raise funds so Ms. Drum could buy a new printer,” Ryan added. “However, upon talking with her, she said she would be just fine with the Highline School District owning the new printer. Otherwise, she would have to increase her own renter’s insurance in case of another theft and would be responsible for any repair and maintenance costs.”

This inspired Ryan to contact Anne Baunach, executive director of the Highline Schools Foundation, to ask if they would be willing to handle the funds for a community fundraising initiative. The goal: $3,380.45 to buy an Ultimaker 2 Extended+ 3D printer by August 15.

Baunach graciously agreed to put up a donation page.

However, an important question arose. What happens if the funds are over or under the goal?

Ryan consulting with Jen Owen, the founder of eNable and coordinator of the worldwide 3D printer community making prosthetic hands for children born without fingers. From a quick tutorial of the world of 3D printers, Ryan learned of a similar model with a smaller print bed that could be a revised goal if funds are shy of the initial goal.

In the event that the total funds raised are over the goal, that’s easy. Turn the excess over to the Highline Schools Foundation technology fund.

“The world is what we make it,” Ryan said. “That is my motivation to step up and do my part to fix this tragedy.”

If you would like to help Big Picture Secondary School recover from the 3D printer theft and reach their goal of $3,380.45 for an Ultimaker 2 Extended+, please donate online below:

DONATE ONLINE HERE

Donations to the Highline Schools Foundation are tax deductible.

For more info, contact 
Tracey Drum at [email protected]highlineschools.org.

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