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The Long Island Science Center in Riverhead is offering a 3D printing and design program for underserved children in the Riverhead and Riverside communities thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Long Island Community Foundation.

Starting in October 2019, the program will allow the science center to provide three five-week 3D printing sessions for elementary and middle school students. Students will learn Tinkercard, a 3D design program that allows them to create objects that can be printed out on a 3D printer. Open 3D printing hours will be available for students at no cost.

“We recognized that there are very few tech-based programs for elementary and middle school students in the area and are working to develop a number of new programs that will be designed to make subjects such as 3D printing and the engineering design process fun, hands-on and accessible for students,” said Cailin Kaller, executive director of the Long Island Science Center. “Programs like this help build confidence and critical-thinking skills,” she said.

“We know that many students have already decided what is and isn’t for them by the time they have reached high school, we want to help them explore how STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics] can be part of their future,” Keller said.

One of the groups partnering with the science center is the Butterfly Effect Project, a Riverhead-based organization whose goal is to assist and empower young girls.

“In a world where girls are having to fight a little harder to be seen, heard, and respected it is incredible that the Butterfly Effect Project is being given this opportunity to crush stigma and explore the endless possibilities of what science and their mind can muster up,” Butterfly Effect Project founder and director Tia Fulford said.

For more information about the program, contact Cailin Kaller, 631-208-8000, [email protected].

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