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UCLA Students Plan to Educate Kids with 3D Printed Ukuleles

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UCLA students are raising money through a UCLA Spark crowdfunding campaign to donate 3D printed ukuleles to the residential care home, Maryvale in California, USA.

Encouraging kids to take up STEM subjects can be done in a myriad of ways. For example, students at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) hope to use musical instruments to encourage elementary aged kids to learn about both art and science.

UCLA members of the national club, 3D Printing For Everyone (3D4E), which teaches people about the technology, hope to raise money to provide children at Maryvale’s residential care home with ukuleles.

Maryvale was set up in 1856 to provide care for orphaned children and provide resources for underprivileged communities. Bhav Patel, a second-year aerospace engineering student and 3D4E treasurer, explains:

“We want to start to get these kids really involved (with) STEM… It can apply and branch out to every single thing that you can see around you.”

To raise money, the team is using the UCLA integrated crowdfunding platform, Spark. They launched the campaign this month and have 17 days left. So far, 3D4E has raised $2,545 with the help of 31 donors.

Applying 3D Printing to Every Field, Not Just Ukuleles

The hope is that the instruments will show kids how 3D printing intersects between art and science. Ryan Poon, a third-year mechanical engineering student and the club president said:

“One day, 3D printing may be applied to every field – even history, English, art – and that’s what we’re trying to show to the children at (Maryvale).”

In order to create the ukuleles, 3D4E members designed the instrument in four parts. This is so they can print them using their small on-site printers. As as a result, the PLA parts all slot together. They are then held in place using super glue.

The team has been through many iterations in order to create a working and authentic sounding ukelele. Currently, the print model doesn’t include tuning pegs or strings. Instead, 3D4E will buy these components which are then added after printing.

If the team raises enough money, they’ll teach the kids about the design processes and show them how to slot the parts to together. Third-year mechanical engineering student, and 3D4E vice president and project leader Joey Meurer, explains: “We’re using the ukuleles as an instrument – no pun intended – to bring about a greater goal,”

However, the success of the fundraiser will drastically affect the outcome of this project. If you’re inspired by the UCLA student’s work, help them out by donating to their cause, here.

Source: Daily Bruin 


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