New Maker Lab promotes STEM education for girls

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - The only limitation when it comes to 3D printing is your own imagination, and the students at Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans are taking it to the classroom.

"We are able to create for example, a heart for biology, or a car for physics and that could really enable us to enhance our knowledge about everyday objects, especially in our world today," says Mount Carmel student Jessi Speziale.

The school opened the Phyllis M. Taylor Maker Lab Monday and celebrated with a blessing from Archbishop Gregory Aymond.

It's Mount Carmel's way of incorporating religion and STEM studies - that’s science, technology, engineering and math - into the lives of these young women.

"The gender issue with STEM and with science and math and young women are not really as represented as we would hope. It's something that we are dedicated to getting rid of, that stigma and empowering them with the skills so that they can become leaders,” says the Maker Lab Director Jeanne Rachuba.

But the girls are already motivated to tackle an otherwise male driven field, and having the proper tools at their fingertips to facilitate that motivation seems to be working.

"I am looking into careers in engineering, by dad is a civic engineer and I find that very interesting, and he uses 3D printers, too," says Mount Carmel student Sarah Liang.

Plus, the girls say it's fun.

3D printing begins with a digital file and your design.

The printers then print models that take anywhere from several minutes to days to complete, depending on the complexity of the initial design.

The creativity is limitless.