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Hawai‘i students can test their 3-D design skills with ‘We (Heart) Veterans’ pin challenge

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Calling all Hawai‘i students in grades 4-12: Test your 3-D design skills while showing appreciation for veterans as part of the second “We (Heart) Veterans” pin design challenge.

Courtesy photos

The science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) challenge is sponsored by the Army Educational Outreach Program. This year’s challenge will be judged in two grade categories: grades 4-8 and grades 9-12. Students will flex their design and engineering skills by creating a digital 3-D model of a wearable pin that celebrates their unique appreciation for veterans.

The challenge is free to enter, and there are resources and tools available at no cost for students and teachers to help create their entries.

“Unique and creative challenges like these help open students’ eyes to the diverse possibilities of STEM,” said Christina L. Weber, chief of STEM education and outreach and Army Educational Outreach Program cooperative agreement manager at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, in a press release. “On the surface, designing a pin might not seem like a STEM challenge, but students quickly see how they need their engineering and 3-D design skills to complete the challenge. Encouraging students to use their STEM knowledge in new and different ways helps spark curiosity and a desire to learn.”


All entries will be reviewed by judges, including members of the U.S. Armed Services and veterans. Ten finalists will be selected from each grade category and their designs will be 3-D printed and distributed to the veterans who visit the National Veterans Memorial Museum in Columbus, Ohio. Finalists will also each receive five prints of their design and a $100 gift card toward a professional 3-D print.

“3-D printing develops both creative and critical thinking skills that can benefit students in so many ways,” said Deanne Bell, founder and CEO of Future Engineers, in the press release. “A challenge that flexes students’ creative muscle, teaches engineering design and celebrates our veterans is a wonderful thing to see come to life.”

Two grand prize challenge winners will win a trip for two to Columbus to attend a special event at the National Veterans Memorial Museum. Each winner will also receive a 3-D printer donated to the school, library or organization of their choice.


Last year the competition reached 2,741 students from throughout the nation, and 10 finalists had their pins 3-D printed and distributed to veterans at the National Veterans Memorial Museum.

“As a teacher, we are always looking for new and exciting ways to engage our students in STEM,” said Kristin Marconi, a teacher at Olentangy Orange Middle School, in the press release. “The ‘We (Heart) Veterans’ pin design challenge offered a fun way to teach our students about engineering and 3-D design while showing gratitude for those who have served our country. This was an amazing opportunity for our teachers to work together across the content areas and create a meaningful project for our students. We are excited to bring the challenge back to our classrooms for a second year.”

For more information or to register for the challenge, click here.


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