Arlington Middle School Tech Class Leads Nation

School project to help local man communicate

Wednesday, May 21, 2014  |  Updated 12:13 PM EDT
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Arlington's Swanson Middle School is the first in the nation to use Autodesk Fusion 360 to make a real-life device to help a man communicate.

Northern Virginia Bureau

Arlington's Swanson Middle School is the first in the nation to use Autodesk Fusion 360 to make a real-life device to help a man communicate.

You may think the school year is winding down, but that's not the case for some eighth graders in Arlington.

Students in Swanson Middle School's technology class are fighting the calendar to create a device with real-life application before the school year ends.

They're designing a gadget for a man who can't use his hands to be able to use a touchscreen computer.

These are the first students in the country to use the Fusion 360 software, which was donated by the tech company Autodesk. It enables them to turn their ideas into actual products using a 3-D printer.

Because the software is cloud-based, the students can work on their projects from home.

Technology instructor Jim DeMarino said this project has brought out the best of his eighth grade students.

Dan Banach, the programs manager for education at Autodesk, said the company makes software available free to thousands of schools across the country.

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