As our after-school Makerspace expands, students are given full responsibility over the management of tools, we have students who manage soldering stations, spray painting, CAD training, power tools and hand tools. At this point in the year, when a new student comes to the Makerspace, the teacher can simply point that person to other students with experience who will train them in the safe and correct application of each tool.
Yesterday we received a Dremel Idea Builder 3D printer. Two of our 4th graders who have shown great interest in chassis prototying were chosen to manage the new 3D Printer. The students were told that the responsibility to manage the printer belongs to them alone. While there was a teacher in the room, there was no adult help setting up and calibrating the printer, nor would there be help using the printer. These students now own the threefold responsibility to use, maintain and teach other students how to use the new tool. The results so far have been successful. They have produced high quality 3D prints from Tinkercad with students learning to care for the tools they use as well as how to use them.