Catonsville High engineers successful technology showcase for community

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Catonsville High Grade 9 student Carlos Ramirez explains how a 3D printer operates during his school’s Engineering Expo Feb. 22. 

CATONSVILLE — After quickly mastering the Catonsvile High 3D printer in his Engineering Principles and Applications class, Carlos Ramirez was a perfect choice to show others how it works.

His 3D printer station was a popular stop during Catonsville High School’s Engineering Expo on Feb. 22. The entire community was invited to an evening of hands-on activities designed to showcase Catonsville High’s engineering programs and students.

The Catonsville Engineering night was one of many Team BCPS events held throughout February celebrating National Career and Technology Month.

Many parents brought their young children to Catonsville’s engineering night. After making slime and watching the Catonsville Robotics remote-controlled machines, wide-eyed students watched and listened as Ramirez, a friendly Grade 9 student, explained the benefits of 3D printers.

Ramirez pointed to a basket full of blue and yellow key chains. They were made by his Grade 9 classmates. He then patiently answered questions about the whirring printer, which was making a blue bracelet. At Catonsville, the 3D printer has been used to make everything from magnets for athletic teams to iPhone cases.

“I just made this yesterday,” Ramirez said while lifting up an iPhone case with a Superman logo emblazoned on the back. “There’s just so much you can do.”

Catonsville High promoted its variety of career and technology education courses from the Baltimore County Public Schools curriculum. The school also has a Project Lead the Way path, which includes five engineering courses:  Introduction to Engineering, Digital Electronics, Principles of Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, and Engineering Design and Development. .

Ramirez said he is already looking forward to taking more engineering classes.

While Ramirez showcased the 3D printer, fellow Grade 9 student Emily Pulling helped young students make slime. Miraculously, she kept her cafeteria workstation mostly clean.

Pulling is taking Introduction to Engineering, which digs deep into the engineering design process, applying math, science, and engineering standards to hands-on projects. She is still trying to decide her vocational future. Perhaps cosmetology is what most interests her. She volunteered to participate at Engineering Night. She figured it would be fun. Plus, her friends would be there.

Together, Pulling and her friends led dozens of future Catonsville High students through a successful maker activity.

Catonsville High Technology Education teacher Dan Larsen, who helped organize the event, couldn’t help but smile as he watched his students assist younger visitors.

“This is what it’s all about,” he said. “A night of learning and making. It’s an event for everyone to be exposed to engineering and come together and experience slime, electronic greeting cards, and 3D printing.”

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