Driving Innovations in K-12 Education

May 8, 2018

At Konica Minolta, we have a strong mission to drive STEM education in the U.S., using technology to advance thinking and foster creativity around innovations that address 21st-century challenges. We are a technology company, but we are also driven to make a difference for students, specifically by supporting the diverse learning experiences within their educational environments, and piquing their interest in developing the designs of our future.

To that end, we’re excited to announce the winners of our first-ever Konica Minolta 3D Innovation Contest, for which entrants were asked to submit an essay about their school, and potential uses for the contest prizes. Prizes include a Dremel 3D printer, extra spools of filament, and a one-year subscription to the MyStemKits educational curriculum to spark student interest in STEM subjects. We were impressed and inspired by the ideas submitted from each school, and are proud to announce the winning U.S.-based K-12 classrooms. These deserving schools will receive a prize package valued at $2,200. Congratulations to the winners (listed below with a brief note about their impressive contest submissions):

  • Teacher: Tyson Sigette

          School: Fox Senior High School

          Location: Arnold, MO

          Idea: Mr. Sigette names their “Annual Hydrogen Fuel Cell Boat Race,” “Recyclable Materials Sorting Prototype,” and “Computer Science Modeling” as projects that could benefit from the 3D printer.

  • Teacher: Nicole Gordon

          School: Lindbergh Schools

          Location: St. Louis, MO

          Idea: In an essay that likens the 3D printer to a superhero, Ms. Gordon said, “I look forward to forming our own justice league, arming students with the right tools, capes, tool belts and Dremel 3D printers.”

  • Teacher: Tracy Braatz

          School: The PEAK School

          Location: Flagstaff, AZ

          Idea: Ms. Braatz, speaking on behalf of The PEAK School and their students, stated, “giving them (the students) the opportunity to use a 3D printer and MyStemKit would provide one more tool to help them become prepared for their future, which will include a need to confidently use new technology.”

  • Teacher: Bonnie Kirkley

          School: RB Wright Elementary

          Location: Moultrie, GA

          Idea: Ms. Kirkley said, “the MyStemKits company would open a faucet for our students to be in the driving seat of their own learning and using technology as a tool for that learning to build upon.”

  • Teacher: Paul Haden

          School: Mount Carmel Jr./Sr. High School

          Location: Mount Carmel, PA

          Idea: Mr. Haden hopes to see their students building, “topographic maps, studying plate tectonics, making 3D representations of molecules and atoms, and so much more.”

  • Teacher: Lisa Mueller

          School: Rock Creek Elementary

          Location: O’Fallon, MO

          Idea: “The Dremel 3D printer and kit positions 575 students to be creators and allows for full hands-on, minds-on partner learning,” explained Ms. Mueller.

  • Teacher: Beth Sletta

          School: Jefferson Elementary School

          Location: New Ulm, MN

          Idea: As a STEM educator and Garden Adviser within Jefferson Elementary School, Ms. Sletta says that, among many curricular projects, “access to a 3D printer would help students create pollinator puddling devices, bee hotels, and bird feeder pieces so that the pollinators will continue to visit our garden.”

  • Teacher: Alex Christian

          School: Edmonson County High School

          Location: Brownsville, KY

          Idea: Mr. Christian describes one potential plan to use the 3D printer and curriculum in their high school would be to, “create breakable common compounds to understand bonding, valence shell electron pair repulsion, and modern atomic structure.”

  • Teacher: Al Troyer

          School: Tonganoxie High School

          Location: Tonganoxie, KS

          Idea: Tonganoxie High School has many intra- and extracurricular uses for this prize, including their “computer-aided drafting and design career pathway which focuses on drafting, construction & design, architecture, mechanical modeling, and manufacturing.”

  • Teacher: Jessica Brantley

          School: Everitt Middle School

          Location: Panama City, FL

          Idea: In addition to expanding opportunity for the students, “this package would also enhance my skills as an educator through increased knowledge, expansion of my professional development, create excitement, and permit more flexibility in my instruction,” said Ms. Brantley.

About the Dremel 3D Printer and MyStemKits

Konica Minolta has partnered with Dremel for desktop 3D printers, and MyStemKits for curriculum that brings real-world learning to life.

  • MyStemKits features 3D manipulatives, with more than 150 kits and 200 lesson plans. MyStemKits is research-based and aligned to national standards, including NGSS and Common Core.
  • Dremel integrates its 3D printers with specially designed curriculum and lesson plans for all levels (including Elementary through High School), featuring activities centered on invention, design, modeling and building in subjects such as Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Geography, and Art.


Stephanie Keer
Manager, Government and Education Solutions

Stephanie Keer is responsible for Konica Minolta’s Education and Government vertical markets, focusing on solutions that improve efficiencies in education. She is a Professor at NYU and the Lead Researcher of Living Values Education Organization. She is an avid scuba diver and meditator.