Olentangy Schools: Orange middle schooler Eden Beal wins 3D pin design contest

An Orange Middle School student will greet veterans at the National Veterans Memorial and Museum at 300 W Broad St. in Columbus, thanks to her talent in design.

Eden Beal, a 13-year-old eighth-grader, was named the winner of the “We <3 Veterans Pin Design Challenge" sponsored by the Army Educational Outreach Program and Future Engineers, a nonprofit advocacy group.

Eden Beal

The national contest encouraged students in grades 4-8 to design a 3D-printable pin that would show appreciation to U.S. veterans of any branch of the armed forces.

As the winner, Beal, whose grandfather was a Marine during the Vietnam War, will have her design printed and distributed to veterans visiting the museum.

“It was a real surprise,” Eden said of learning she had won. “I wanted to show veterans how much we all appreciate them, and it’s really cool that my design will do that.”

OMS students were introduced to the contest as part of an interdisciplinary unit that involved social studies, science, math and English classes, according to OMS American history teacher Kristin Marconi. Classes focused on different aspects of the entries, from design to using 3D software to the required accompanying explanation.

“We’re always looking for lessons that are meaningful to our kids,” Marconi said. “This was cross-curricular and it was a real-world contest.”

The further along she and her classmates were in the process, the more excited and inspired Eden became, she said.

Eden Beal's pin design

“I was excited to do something with 3D printing, which I hadn’t really done before. And I worked very hard on the writing and put a lot of thought into it,” she said. “I was really proud of what I had made.”

“A challenging part of the project was that, even with the accompanying paragraph, everything you wanted to say had to fit on a pin, from symbols and words to color choices,” Marconi said.

“She’s very creative and is a very good writer. So combining those two things really got her going,” said Holly Beal, Eden’s mother. “She had been working on it a while before she shared it with me, and I was super-impressed with what she was doing. We can’t wait to see the 3D-printed version.”

“I’m never surprised that our kids accomplish things above and beyond expectations,” Marconi said.

“At Future Engineers, we strive to develop challenges alongside mission-aligned partners, with the goal of inspiring the next generation of innovators,” Deanne Bell, founder and CEO of Future Engineers, said in a news release.

There is no firm timetable for when the contest pins will be available for veterans at the museum.



This article originally appeared on ThisWeek: Olentangy Schools: Orange middle schooler Eden Beal wins 3D pin design contest