Posted July 15, 2022

Wolf Administration stops in at 3D-printing and bioengineering summer camp

Neil Weaver, acting secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development, paid a visit to a Temple-run high school summer camp earlier this month.

Image of Neil Weaver in Temple’s IDEAS Hub.
Photography By: 
Ryan S. Brandenberg
Neil Weaver watched group presentations by campers before being led on a tour of Temple’s IDEAS Hub by mechanical engineering student Dane Paulson.

Earlier this month, Acting Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Neil Weaver visited a 3D-printing and bioengineering summer pre-college program run by Temple University. 

The visit was an opportunity for Weaver to connect with the high school students who are benefitting from the DCED’s Manufacturing PA Training-to-career Grant program (MTTC), which helped fund the camp and other Temple pre-college workshops.

“I want to hear what you have to say and see your projects,” Weaver told a classroom full of campers during his visit. “We’re proud of the work you’re doing, and we’re proud of the work that we’ve been able to support.”

In May, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced nearly $80,000 in MTTC funding for summer camps throughout the commonwealth in 2022 and 2023. MTTC and the camps it funds seek to provide students with a fun and enriching introduction to manufacturing fields in the region. The two-week sessions are open to all high school students, and attendees can explore a variety of college pathways taught by Temple undergraduates, graduate students and faculty.

“This is blowing my mind, what’s going on with these students,” Weaver said. “I would have never imagined being at that age and working on the things they’re doing.”

The afternoon session Weaver attended at Temple’s College of Engineering featured students with an interest in the bioengineering field. The students presented group projects detailing products they designed to aid amputees as they shower. Students conducted research on what products are already on the market before collaborating on their own designs, taking into account costs and usability of materials.

3D printing played an important role in the camp and the student projects, as students designed their products based on real-life 3D-printing capabilities. Following each presentation, Weaver and fellow campers posed questions to the groups about their designs.

Weaver then visited the College of Engineering’s IDEAS Hub to get a closer look at Temple’s 3D-printing machines, motion capture technology and other cutting-edge features of the facility. Mechanical engineering major Dane Paulson, Class of 2023, talked Weaver through some of the equipment and capabilities of the state-of-the-art 7,000 square-foot facility.

Weaver remarked on how it is crucial for high schoolers to be exposed to the concepts and technologies that Temple’s pre-college program offers, so that they are aware of the different options and career paths available to them. “The earlier we can reach students, their parents and their families and get them to understand what’s out there, the better,” he said. “It’s not the same manufacturing industry that’s been around for years and decades. This is a whole new ballgame.”

Visit Temple’s pre-college programming website for more information about the university’s offerings.