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Welcome to Programming and 3D Printing for Grades 5-8 Virtual Workshop

Adafruit CPX and 3D Design and Printing

Workshop Dates

Six Saturdays: March 6, 13, 20, 27 & April 10, 17, 2021 – 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM via Zoom. There will be no session on Saturday, April 3. Based upon interest and demand, the presenters may arrange help sessions at other times to assist students with programming and 3D printing.

In accord with MSU policy, a mandatory parent/student orientation session will be arranged ahead of the March 6 Saturday session.

Workshop registration is closed.


The virtual workshop will give students a first look at the fundamentals and applications of computer science, programming, computer-aided design (CAD), and 3D printing technology through interactive, hands-on activities. Every accepted student will be provided and permitted to keep a Circuit Playground Express microcontroller at no cost. Additionally, students without home computer and/or internet access will be loaned equipment during the program to permit their participation. Both the microcontroller and any loaned equipment must be used with the appropriate supervision of a parent or guardian.



  • Introduce students to programming using Microsoft MakeCodeTM and the Circuit Playground Express microcontroller.
  • Gain knowledge about variables, Boolean logic, conditionals, and iteration.
  • Introduce students to traditional programming thereafter, with CircuitPython.

3D Printing

  • Introduce students to the principles and applications of 3D printing.
  • Students will learn to conceptualize and create their own 3D objects using TinkercadTM software with shapes and code. Selected student-designed models will be printed by MSU St. Andrews and shipped to students at no cost.


Parent and Participant Handbook for Virtual Youth Programs  

Please read our parent and participant handbook for virtual youth programs for information on policies and procedures, as well as during and after-hour contact information.


Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services, and activities. Accommodation for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting (517) 432-4499 by Wednesday, February 24. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.

Important Dates for Consideration

  • Please register now through Friday, February 12.
  • Emails will be sent by Monday, February 15, to accepted students.
  • Parent/guardian must confirm each registration by Friday, February 19, using a link to be provided in the acceptance email.
  • MSU St. Andrews will ship equipment and materials during the week of Monday, February 22.
  • Every student and parent/guardian must attend one ½ hour pre-workshop orientation session via Zoom – either Saturday, February 27 at 2:00 PM or Tuesday, March 2 at 7 PM.
  • Six, 90-minute workshop sessions via Zoom: Saturdays, March 6, 13, 20, 27 & April 10, 17, 2021 – 10:30 am – 12:00 pm. (No session, Saturday, April 3.)
  • Office Hours will be held on Thursdays at 7:00 PM.
  • The date for return of loaned equipment will be determined as loans are made.

Attention students: MSU St. Andrews participates in the Great Lakes Bay Region STEM Passport program. You may attend an event or workshop and log it as a STEM experience on your passport!

Top left image courtesy of AdafruitCC BY-SA 3.0