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Columbia Memorial Space Center Wins 5 MOD-t 3D Printers for STEM Program

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The partnership signed last June between Challenger Center and MOD-t 3D printer manufacturer New Matter to broaden STEM Education has selected Columbia Memorial Space Center as Recipient of five MOD-t 3D Printers.

Challenger Center, a leading science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education organization, and New Matter, a leading desktop 3D printing company, chose the Columbia Memorial Space Center to receive the award-winning MOD-t 3D printers as part of the initial phase of the recently announced Challenger Center-New Matter partnership.

The Columbia Memorial Space Center immediately implemented the printers into its 3D printing summer camp where the printers will be used to help teach the basics of 3D printing as well as 3D designing and prototyping. The Challenger Center-New Matter partnership is broadening STEM education through the placement of MOD-t 3D printers in Challenger Centers across the country.

“New Matter’s MOD-t 3D printers allow us to connect the Challenger Learning Center experience to the real-world space industry and to the 21st century space program, making both more relevant to today’s youth,” said Benjamin Dickow, president and executive director, Columbia Memorial Space Center. “The Space Center sits in the middle of this century’s space program, with companies like Virgin Orbit and SpaceX right down the road. The New Matter printers will give our young visitors hands-on experience with the kind of current manufacturing that these companies are using to build the new generation of rockets. They are a natural extension to the program.”

In addition to its 3D printing summer camp, the Center will integrate the MOD-t 3D printers into other programs such as its Girls in STEM club and its Saturday Science programs, which allow guests of the Center to explore technology with hands-on experiences.

Widely recognized for both the high quality of its prints and the elegant simplicity of its design, the MOD-t was created with educators in mind. One of the quietest desktop 3D printers available, the MOD-t can be easily integrated into a Challenger Learning Center experience without causing disruption to the program or mission taking place.

“We’re thrilled to continue our Challenger Center partnership with the addition of the Columbia Memorial Space Center,” said Steve Schell, chief executive officer and cofounder, New Matter. “The Center’s plans to take advantage of the MOD-ts to help students gain experience with 3D printing as an advanced manufacturing technology, which could lay the foundation for future careers in space, are particularly impressive. As a Southern California company, we’re also especially pleased to spark the imagination of kids in our own backyard.”

In late January, Challenger Center’s network of Challenger Learning Centers submitted proposals describing how, if selected, they would use New Matter MOD-t 3D printers for STEM education programming. Challenger Learning Center at the Scobee Education Center, San Antonio College, was the first of several locations to receive the printers.

The mission of the Columbia Memorial Space Center is to ignite a community of critical and creative thinkers through world-class programs, inclusive events and engaging exhibits. Serving as the national memorial to the Space Shuttle Columbia and the crew of STS-107, the Space Center, located in Downey, California, is a space museum and hands-on learning center dedicated to bringing the wonder and excitement of science and innovation to audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

New Matter makes the benefits of 3D printing accessible and affordable to every classroom and home by providing the best, most seamless user experience of any desktop 3D printer. The award-winning New Matter MOD-t is the most elegantly simple printer for both educational institutions and consumers, delivering the highest quality and reliability in the industry. The company is backed by leading venture capital firms and is an operating company of technology incubator Idealab.


As a leader in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, Challenger Center and its network of Challenger Learning Centers provide more than 250,000 students annually with experiential education programs to engage students in hands-on learning opportunities. These programs strengthen knowledge in STEM subjects and inspire students to pursue careers in these important fields. Challenger Center was created to honor the crew of shuttle flight STS-51-L.

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