MPACT’s Promise

The Mathematics, 3D Printing, and Computational Thinking (MPACT) project promises to better prepare rural middle school youth for future work through creative STEM-rich activities.

MPACT’s hands-on, minds-on projects will engage students in using low-tech and high-tech materials—everything from quick-drying clay to 3D printers—in the service of learning mathematics and computer science.

MPACT’s Challenges

  • Too few students see the relevance of STEM in their daily lives or their futures.
  • Students need to learn more about 3D modeling and printing, a growing field of work.
  • Teachers need support in building projects and career awareness into the school day while still addressing content standards.

MPACT’s Solutions

  • Students learn to design and fabricate beautiful, useful objects while learning mathematics and computer science aligned with grades 4-7 standards.
  • Students engage in 3D modeling with using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software and printing used in the burgeoning manufacturing industry.
  • Carefully sequenced classroom materials engage students in workplace-based design projects.
  • Targeted teacher professional development provides teachers with the knowledge and skills they need.
  • Industry mentors give students advice about their design and about the workplace.

SRI International was awarded an Education Innovation and Research grant by the U.S. Department of Education to develop and implement a program bringing the exciting and ever-more-broadly-used technologies of 3D modeling and printing to middle schoolers in sixty classrooms. 90% of MPACT’s funding comes from an EIR grant from the US Department of Education. 10% will come from our generous donors.

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