March 27, 2017

Thanks to All Who Participated in this Year’s Extreme Redesign Challenge & Digital Fabrication Showcase!

AET Labs would like to express our wholehearted appreciation to all who attended this year’s Extreme Redesign Challenge: New England Semifinals and Digital Fabrication Showcase – especially in view of our “Extreme” weather reschedule! 

To our student competitors – Not only were your designs impressive, but your outstanding presentations got rave reviews from all in attendance. The overwhelming sentiment was how extremely difficult it was to choose the winners! Thank you for being an inspiration to the education community to invest in this technology that encourages student innovation and the ability to prototype at such a professional level!

Big congrats to our student champs!

1st place: Arlington High School Team: Linglong Le, Ben Coley, Ionis Kutrolli, & Anastasia Goulopoulos (not pictured)
for their “Aerodynamically Superior Drone” 

2nd place:
Dylan Desrosiers – for his “Efficient Aero-Elastic Flutter Energy Harvester”

Pentucket Regional High School Extreme Redesign Winners3rd place: Pentucket Regional’s Jake Picariello, Patrick Reardon, and Brendon Lincoln
for their “Standard Aluminum Soda Can with Re-Sealable Top”

Enjoy the new MakerBot Replicator Arlington! And congrats to our raffle winner, Wendell Oppewall who traveled all the way from the Mt. Desert Island, Maine school district! We’re confident that the new MakerBot will be an exciting addition to your community’s STEM programs. Thank you to MakerBot for contributing such a generous gift!

Tasker Smith of MIT's Pappalardo LabsWhat a treat it was to have Tasker Smith, instructor & mentor at the MIT Pappalardo Labs, as our keynote speaker! Tasker began his presentation on “Digital Fabrication and the Quest for Maker Mastery” by showing a fun video from Nokia featuring Bruce Lee waging a ping-pong battle single-handedly against a professional team, using a set of nunchucks. This amusingly illustrated how unconventional thought processes are the key to the most innovative (and successful!) designs. A giant shout out of thanks to Tasker for acting as our Digital Fabrication “Sifu” at the event! Our imaginations were certainly sparked to think outside-the-box and savvily wield digital fabrication tools and open-source resources in a way that saves time, energy and materials.  

Thank you to Ryan Hayford of Stratasys for stepping in last minute to present! We enjoyed hearing such vivid examples of how 3D printing is expanding what’s possible in education. It’s inspiring to see how this technology has quickly opened the way for students of all ages to learn advanced, real-world STEM applications, and even out-of-this-world applications in conjunction with NASA. It was made abundantly clear how important it is that students learn 3D printing -now – as it is securely on the path to being a keystone of future manufacturing.

We appreciate having Shuvom Ghose from GrabCAD on hand to give a motivating Ted Talk inspired presentation helping us to see how 3D printing is helping to prepare students to keep pace in the Industry 4.0 workplace! We enjoyed seeing how students & educators from around the world are able to collaborate seamlessly together in the design process, managing and printing their 3D STL files with GrabCAD. Not without mention, the GrabCAD team really knocked our socks off with their fun swag at the event!

We couldn’t think of a better way wrap up the day, than by hearing from current WPI student Thomas Vagnini, the 2015 Extreme Redesign winner for his “Microgravity Scale”! Safe to say, we were all inspired to learn about Tom’s journey since winning the competition 2 years ago! Thomas not only continues his work in robotics but also enjoys speaking and demonstrating at Maker Faires and mentoring First Robotics teams hoping to encourage younger students to investigate STEM subjects and become avid makers themselves. Keep up the hard work Thomas, we look forward to hearing your STEM adventures in the coming years!

Our hope is that everyone in attendance enjoyed the learning labs and found the tech demonstrations from our manufacturers helpful and educational.  Special thanks go to our co-sponsors Stratasys and GrabCAD for helping to make this event such a success! A huge thank you also goes to our participating manufacturers – MakerBot, Techno CNC, PensaLabs/DiWire, Epilog Laser, & 3D Digital!

As this yearly event is near and dear to our hearts, we’re so pleased with the positive feedback from the education community:

“It was a fantastic day, very well run, and well worth the time investment. I have been talking about it all week with my students.”

Educator from Whitman-Hanson Regional School District 

“It was a good day – Kids’ projects were innovative; it’d be a good addition to a digital portfolio to video/film their presentations – they were so fun! Speakers were excellent; good usable information! Thank YOU!

STEAM Instructor from Trinity High School

“I had a wonderful time!!! You will see my school in the contest next year- count on it.”

Media Specialist from Middle School at Parkside

“Very nice work on the Showcase and the Re-Design Challenge.  I had an enjoyable, inspirational and educational experience.  The speakers were so excellent. . . I look forward also to the links to the presentations.  I would like to share them with my students and administrators.”
Instructor from Washington County Community College

Zooming in on Spring 2018: we’re already designing our next Digital Fabrication Tech Showcase, featuring an expanded Extreme Redesign Semi-Finals competition for the New England region, and more hands-on interactive demonstrations. For our attendees – we’ll be providing a resource guide based on Tasker, Shuvom and Ryan’s presentations for use in your lesson planning in the near future – stay tuned! In the meantime, we’d love to hear from you all in the coming year! Please share your stories, and keep us updated with your school’s efforts and triumphs as you use digital fabrication tech tools in your STEM programs!


The AET Labs Team