Students building flying cars with 3D design

Flying cars will soon be flying at MC Ginsberg Objects of Art, where college kids this week started taking a course in 3D design.

The class, which covers design, additive manufacturing and 3D printing, is one of many offerings to students in grades 6-8 through the University of the Iowa Belin-Blank Center. The class is also the first of its kind to be offered at a company rather than a classroom, said Lori Ihrig, program and instruction supervisor at the Belin-Blank Center.

Students must apply to attend the institute, which includes room and board, and those accepted receive $325 scholarships to help cover the $1,025 fee.

Ihrig said the 3D design course exposes students to art, engineering and entrepreneurship, and the partnership with MC Ginsberg allows students to work in an authentic space.

She said students will go beyond simply using technology by engaging in creative, integrative thinking and problem solving.

“It’s not 3D printing for 3D printing sake,” Ihrig said.

Young students work on projects in their 3D design and printing class at MC Ginsberg on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. The class is offered by the University of Iowa's Belin-Blank Center and is the first of its kind to be taught in a private, commercial setting.

On Tuesday, students designed and assembled cube-shaped polystyrene puzzles at MC Ginsberg’s Studio for Advanced Design. In the next few days, they will design and build model flying cars using 3D printers and other materials.

Williamsburg High School teacher Kevin Wilkinson taught students on Tuesday and said the class encourages children to be creative. He said it also exposes them to 3D printers as they become more user-friendly.

“It now allows children to create, design and build these products,” he said.

Hayden Johnson, 13, an eighth grader living in Iowa City, said he loves building things. He said his interests in 3D modeling and computer graphics drew him to the course and he hopes to gain first-hand experience in these areas.

Ananya Albrecht-Buehler, 12, of Iowa City works on a project in her 3D design and printing class at MC Ginsberg on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. The class is offered by the University of Iowa's Belin-Blank Center and is the first of its kind to be taught in a private and commercial setting.

Ananya Albrecht-Buehler, 12, a seventh-grader living in Iowa City, said the opportunity to work with new technology drew her to the class.

“I just love technology and designing things,” she said.

Mark Ginsberg, owner of MC Ginsberg Objects of Art, said he was delighted to partner with Belin-Blank on a course where students could gain experience in a non-traditional setting. He said these settings give students the freedom to explore a variety of disciplines.

“They can see real-world applications,” he said.

Contact Holly Hines at hhines2@press-citizen.com or 319-887-5414 and follow her on Twitter at @HollyJHines.