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Epps invites community to open house

Iris Hunter Richmond County Daily Journal

September 18, 2013

Jeffries Epps, director of information technology for Richmond County Schools, will be hosting a 3-D open house that will allow individuals in the community, both children and adults, to get hands-on experience with using 3-D technology on Saturday, Sept. 28, from 12 to 5 p.m.


At the open house there will be engineers from 3-D Systems Geomagic available to do demonstrations and answer questions, Epps said.


Epps will discuss various things, including 3-D technology, how to get kids involved with 3-D technology, how to inspire girls to pursue STEM careers and how 3-D technology is becoming a requirement for various jobs. Also, Epps will discuss his work bringing 3-D to elementary, middle and high school students.


“We are providing a set of skills,” Epps said. “This is an opportunity for the community to see that skill set.”


Epps knows that businesses have problems and the students can help them solve the problem which is why he would like for local and regional businesses to get involved in the program. Epps said that businesses will be able to bring in the real-world component.


I think that businesses can learn how 3-D technology can be incorporated into their business, he said.


“It is not about what they can do for us, it is what we can do for them,” said Epps. “We are seeking partnerships to provide real-world challenges for our students.”


He suggested that those who want to come out to the open house should arrive by 12 p.m. because they would not want to miss the opening remarks.


Also, Epps said that at the open house there will be another major partnership that will be announced.


Epps was recently honored by the White House for being a Champion of Change for Tech Inclusion and bringing technology to public school students in Richmond County. This particular program was created by the White House to feature individuals, businesses, and organizations doing things that help and inspire their communities.


The White House stated that since 2009 Epps has trained students in grades 5 through 12 in the use of 3-D design, 3-D scanning, and 3-D printing technologies in order to prepare them for technology-related careers.


During the summer at the Richmond County Ninth Grade Academy in Hamlet, several students participated in an invitation-only summer program where Epps helped them to explore various advanced technologies, including 3-D scanning and printing.


The G.R.E.A.T. (Globally Ready Engineering and Technology Academy) program, a program that was founded by Epps in 2009 with only seven high school students, is sponsored by the school district.


The open house will be held at the Richmond Ninth Grade Academy, at 804 County Home Road, Hamlet.


Refreshments will be provided for those who attend the 3-D open house.


For more information and/or to view the agenda, visit http://geomagic.com/en/community/beyond-the-box/see-how-3d-is-making-a-difference-in-k-12-education/.


If you have any questions, contact Epps at 910-582-5860, ext 1288.


— Staff Writer Iris Hunter can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at ihunter@civitasmedia.com.