A 3D-printed pin created by a North San Antonio seventh-grader to honor military veterans won a national competition.
Nimitz Middle School student Daniel Rivera was one of two grand prize winners in the We (Heart) Veterans Pin Design Challenge, organizers Future Engineers and Army Educational Outreach Program said April 4.
According to a news release, We (Heart) Veterans inspires fourth- through 12th-graders nationwide to using their creativity and engineering skills by designing a 3D pin that gives thanks to veterans.
Out of 20 finalists, 10 from grades four through eight and 10 from nine through 12, Rivera and Copley, Ohio, 11th-grader Harrison Rothschild emerged as the two grand prize winners.
Each grand prize winner will receive a 3D printer donated to their school, library or organization of choice. The winners also are invited to attend a special Memorial Day event at the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, event organizers said.
Christina Weber, chief of science, technology, engineering, and math education and outreach at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, said the design challenge has grown in the two years it has existed.
“Engaging, hands-on activities spark a lasting curiosity and interest in STEM. Thank you to all of those who volunteered to judge this year’s challenge. and congratulations to our winners and to all the students who participated,” Weber said in a statement.
Rivera said he incorporated a ribbon-like design on his pin to help honor all military branches, including the U.S. Space Force, which was established in late 2019.
According to event organizers, Rivera said he enjoys 3D modeling because the technique can be used to create anything, including gifts for friends, adding Rivera aspires to be a mechanical engineer.
“[My] design is meant to celebrate and remember all of the United States military branches while honorably saluting them with a ribbon-like design. On the pin, there is a blue semiring displaying the words ‘forever in your debt,’ explaining that citizens of the United States will forever be in our veterans' debt,” Rivera said in a statement.
Event organizers said all 20 finalists will have their pin designs 3D printed and distributed at the Memorial Day event.