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Earlier this year, Lincoln Charter School fifth grader Ethan Hernandez struck up a conversation with Hope Hoover-Armstead, an owner and operator of several York County McDonald's.

Ethan, 11, spoke at length about 3-D printers with Hoover-Armstead, of Dover, who was at the school to teach a lesson on planting. Ethan said his cousin had a 3-D printer and that's how he knew about them. Hope's adult son, Ryan Armstead, uses a 3-D printer as a hobby.

She later told Ryan about Ethan's interest in 3-D printers, and he bought one for the school.

Not long after, he bought another for the school.

"We can't wait to use it," Lincoln Charter School Principal and CEO Leonard Hart said.

McDonald's: On Friday afternoon, Ethan, along with 26 of his classmates, were treated to a McDonald's meal at the restaurant at 142 S. George St. where they were presented with the new 3-D printers.

The printers will be used by students in third through fifth grades. The older students will be able to make things on their computers and have them printed through the 3-D printers, Hart said.

The younger students will be making their own creations, but with clay instead.

"This printer will allow a student to have an imagination," Hart said, adding that students also will  see that there are professions that use 3-D printing technology.

Ethan said he was happy that the school went along with his idea.

"I might use it for some of my projects," he said.

The printer, alongside some 3-D printed items Armstead had made, sat at the center of a McDonald's table while the students ate their food. Some of Armstead's creations included a Lego Batman minifigure, an octopus and a rocket ship.

"It's pretty big for us," Hart said.

While Ethan and his classmates will be too old to use the printers while they are still at the school, Hart said the students will be able to come back and use the printers for various extracurricular activities that might require them.

"They're always Lincoln Lions," he said. "They always are back."

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.

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