May 28, 2020

Meadows Provides 3D Design/Printing Workshops in Borneo

George Meadows working with Hutan Education team

George Meadows, professor in the College of Education, recently delivered a series of on-site workshops on 3D printing and design to an Education Team from HUTAN. Headquartered in Sukau, Malaysia, HUTAN is a French NGO that researches Malaysian Borneo wildlife including Oranghutan and Pygmy Elephant. The Education team works with local people, focusing on issues linked to human-wildlife interaction. They hope to use the 3D printer to build models that can be used in their teaching. Meadows has worked with HUTAN several times in the past on both educational issues and technical issues such as the use of video-equipped drones to survey re-forestation efforts.

Gift Supports New Makerspace Program

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Left to Right: UMW Professor of Education George Meadows, Interim Dean of the UMW College of Education Nina Mikhalevsky, Dominion External Affairs Manager James Beazley, and UMW Vice President for Advancement and University Relations Torre Meringolo

The University of Mary Washington received a $15,000 gift to support its “E3 Makerspace Network.” Awarded by the Dominion Foundation, the funds will help create a collaborative network with two UMW colleges, the Friends of the Rappahannock, and the England Run Branch of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library system.

UMW Professor of Education George Meadows says the new network will sustain and expand makerspace technology and the engineering/design process to provide creative approaches to teaching about energy and the environment as well as researching and developing technological solutions to environmental problems.

“UMW students from the College of Education and students enrolled in science disciplines within the College of Arts and Sciences can now do some exciting things with real world technology and applications,” says Meadows. “The fact that we will be collaborating with area organizations to solve problems and share solutions makes for a great teaching environment.”

Out of nearly 400 applications for the 2015-16 academic year, the Dominion Foundation awarded grants totaling $1.5 million to more than 140 schools and educational institutions in 11 states and the District of Columbia. Dominion Foundation grants are funded by shareholder dollars and support nonprofit causes that meet basic human needs, protect the environment, promote education and encourage community vitality.

Gifts count toward the $50-million Mary Washington First Campaign, which began July 1, 2011. As of Sept. 15, 2015, Mary Washington alumni, parents, friends, faculty, staff, and businesses have committed $41 million in gifts and pledges. The Campaign is scheduled to conclude June 30, 2016. Visit or call 540-654-2059 for more information.

Meadows Presents at Leadership Learning Exchange

George Meadows, professor in the College of Education, presented at the Spotsylvania County Schools Leadership Learning Exchange program on June 24. The title of his presentation was “In the Sandbox with Dr. Meadows: Makerspaces, Engineering, Robotics and New Technology for Your Classrooms.”

During the presentation, participants explored several new technologies and Meadows demonstrated and discussed possible applications in education. The technologies included 3-D printers and scanners, alternative input devices, circuitry components such as LittleBits and Circuit Stickers, and physical computing devices such as the Hummingbird board and the Arduino. Meadows also discussed the role of engineering labs/makerspaces and examples of existing educational makerspaces.

Free Learner Space Summer Camp, July 21-22

A student learns about circuitry by using tools in UMW's LearnerSpace

A student learns about circuitry by using tools in UMW’s LearnerSpace

The College of Education is hosting a free LearnerSpace Summer Camp for children of UMW faculty and staff on July 21 and 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants will learn about the maker’s space, 3D printing, robotics and rockets. The camp is open to children ages 9 to 13 and takes place on the Stafford campus in the north building, room 112. Registration is required for each day at Contact Linda Falden at with questions.


UMW Partners with Local Elementary Schools to Tackle Oil Spills

The timer winds down outside Anne E. Moncure Elementary School in Stafford County. Precious seconds tick away while fifth-graders watch with anticipation to see if their creation will clean up oil dumped in a makeshift waterway. “You guys made this. It’s driving around. Be proud,” said Principal Greg Machi, applauding the group crowded around a blue and white inflatable pool, exhorting their motorized sponge-like devices, built from PVC pipe, pool noodles and oil absorbency pads, to soak up the blackish oil dumped in the clear water. “No wonder they call it trial and error,” said 10-year-old Zoe Lenzmeier, as her group’s machine struggles to move through the water. Her group’s machine successfully cleaned up oil, but will need some modifications to move better in the water. University of Mary Washington Professor of Education George Meadows, who oversaw the student testing, deemed all the inventions a success. “They built a remote-control machine with a purpose,” said Meadows, who spearheaded this project through a $2,390 grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust. Professor of Education George Meadows spearheaded a project to teach Stafford elementary school students about oil spills. Photos by Reza Marvashti. Students built machines from PVC pipe, pool noodles, oil absorbancy pads and recycled materials. Students planned and designed their machines over the course of a few weeks. The final phase of the project was testing their machines. More than 300 students were able to test their machines during the last week of school. Meadows partnered with principals and teachers at Anne E. Moncure, Hartwood and Ferry Farm elementary schools and Friends of the Rappahannock to educate more than 300 students about water pollution caused by oil spills before starting the building process. Through the grant, the schools were able to purchase all of the materials and participate in workshops led by educators from Friends of the Rappahannock on watershed, human impact on rivers and oil spills. “I hope they realize that they can make a difference,” said Lowery Pemberton, education coordinator for Friends of the Rappahannock, as she watched the next group test their machine. “And that this motivates them to figure out solutions for themselves.” Students in groups of four to five were given a real-world scenario where they had a $1,000 budget to purchase materials. Then they had about five total hours to build over the course of a few weeks. During the last week of school they tested and observed the machines by simulating an oil spill. “This is what 21st century learning must increasingly be for all students—multifaceted meaningful engagement that builds complex knowledge and skills, that emphasizes collaboration, critical thinking and creativity, and that embraces the importance of iterations to deep, nuanced, and useful understandings,” said Mary Gendernalik-Cooper, dean of the UMW College of Education, who also came to observe the students as they tested their machines. After testing, students returned to their classrooms to discuss, but some students already were planning improvements. “I would probably attach the funnel that turns – that filters the oil into water – to the machine so it doesn’t create drag,” said 10-year-old Seamus Gutierrez, after his machine finishes its test run. “It was hard to control and maybe it was too long because it jammed against the corners.”

Scanning Through History

It’s the ultimate combination of old and new.

Decked out in full body armor as a gladiator from the ancient Roman Empire, Senior Harry Rol clamps on his helmet and steps onto a 3-D printing scanner in the University of Mary Washington’s 21st century classroom known as the ThinkLab.

“You really look the part,” said Associate Professor of Classics Joe Romero, as Rol strikes a pose, knees bent with shield and sword at the ready.

Scanning Through History

Students relive the past using 3-D technology.

Education Professors Host 5th Annual EdTech Conference (

Meadows Featured on the Cover of @Your Library Magazine

George Meadows-Cover-@Your Library

George Meadows, far left, works with Central Rappahannock Regional Library to bring the latest technologies to local families.

George Meadows, professor of education, introduces area students to high-tech tools for scientific learning at the England Run MakerLab as a way to provide opportunities for local community members and University of Mary Washington students. The partnership with Meadows and Central Rappahannock Regional Library was featured on the cover of the library’s @ Your Library magazine.

“I think the MakerLab provides an extremely valuable community resource,” said Meadows in the interview. “It exposes people to some of the newest advances in technology – things you might be surprised to find at a library.”

Meadows highlights the necessity for UMW students and children to have the opportunity to use and learn with the technologies in the MakerLab, including a 3-D printer, engineering kits and digital microscopes.


Partner Spotlight (@Your Library-Winter issue, page 28)