THE Calabar High School class of 1989 gifted their alma mater with a 3-D printer during morning devotion on Wednesday, and the administration already has plans to not only incorporate the technology into the school's industrial arts programme, but to use it as an income generator as well since it allows for the design and manufacture of branded memorabilia.
To those ends, the school has already secured partnership for training in the use and application of the technology with Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), which operates a 3-D printing innovation centre on its Palisadoes Park campus.
Three members of the class of 89 Keith Whyte, Leighton Bowen and Richard Lawson presented the printer, a FlashForge Creator Pro brand with metal frame structure, acrylic covers and dual extruder spools, to Principal Albert Corcho.
Whyte explained the reasoning behind the donation.
A few years ago when I came and saw the very same plates, drill press that I used from 30 years ago I realised that something had to change, because while they served me well when I went to CAST, now UTech, to do engineering and then on into the sugar indudstry at Monymusk and Bernard Lodge, 30 years later Monymusk sugar factory is no more, Bernard Lodge is no more and so the skills that I learnt years ago and that helped me then, the kids coming out of high school have no place to go with those sort of knowledge and skills. Robotics, 3-D printing, artificial intelligence, drone technology, this is where the society is going and so I realise that we have to be preparing our current students to face what is happening, he told th e Jamaica Observer.
So, while it won't be a CSEC [Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate] subject, it will give the boys current skills and technologies that are relevant, Whyte added.
Parent Teacher's Association President Percival Palmer said plans are in train to procure additional 3-D printers in the near future as part of a wider IT infrasturcture build-out at the school.