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<br>Dr. Kroft

Dr. Kroft

ASCP Joins in White House ‘Maker Faire’ Celebrating Scientific Innovation

Friday, June 27, 2014

ASCP President Steven H. Kroft, MD, FASCP, attended the inaugural White House “Maker Faire,” which celebrated the ingenuity of individuals who are creating innovative solutions to everyday challenges using high-tech equipment.

“The overarching focus was really to bring manufacturing and manufacturing innovations back to the United States, as a defining feature of our nation’s economy,” Dr. Kroft explains. “Rekindling innovation and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) outreach and education is one prong of this effort to revitalize manufacturing across the board.

“ASCP is specifically interested in STEM outreach activities with respect to promoting careers in the medical laboratory, yet we also have a vested interest in broader STEM efforts because this is the same pool of students from which we will attract our future workforce.”

The Maker Faire brought together individuals of all ages who have invented a wide array of products using high-tech equipment such as 3D printers, laser-cutters, easy-to-use design software, and desktop machine tools. For example, the National Institutes of Health exhibit highlighted its 3-D printing exchange, a public domain website to assist developers to create 3-D designs related to biology and physiology, which can be used by educators.

During the Maker Faire, President Barack Obama announced new commitments by the White House and several partner organizations to spark a resurgence in American manufacturing by encouraging individuals to launch new businesses and students in classrooms across the country to excel in science, technology, engineering, and math.

In conjunction with the White House Maker Faire, ASCP, supported by Roche, is collaborating with MakerBot, a leader in the desktop 3D printing industry, to put a MakerBot Replicator™ Desktop 3D Printer in every school in America.

“ASCP and Roche see the benefit of providing access to MakerBot 3D printers in the classroom to support STEM education that builds on existing programs that attract youth to the medical laboratory profession and help create a laboratory workforce for the future through the ASCP-Roche Career Ambassador program,” Dr. Kroft says.

During the event, Dr. Kroft briefly met the new Executive Director for STEM Initiatives at the Department of Education, Russell Shilling, and talked about ASCP’s STEM outreach activities in schools nationwide, as well as ASCP's efforts to increase the capacity of training programs for Laboratory Professionals through distance learning and simulated laboratories. He also spoke with the director of the STEM education programs in the Washington, D.C., area who organizes a large-scale annual STEM fair.