As 3D printing technology progresses further and further, making significant impacts in sectors from medical to manufacturing–and many, many in between–it’s been pointed out repeatedly that one of the hurdles which will prevent the disruptive and popular technology from reaching its true potential is education.
While we may have the technological tools at our disposal, if the population doesn’t know how to use them–and use them well– there will be the continued challenge to fill jobs that currently have many empty seats due to the lack of skill sets worldwide.
The Association of IT Leaders in Education (AiTLE) is keenly aware of the future obstacles faced in manufacturing and quality career options if the younger generations, especially, are not well versed in 3D design and 3D printing. And in working with Baptist Rainbow Primary School, DTSL and Makers Empire, they certainly went above and beyond, and full speed ahead in making this issue known to the world (and solving it expediently!) as they attempted–and reached–a new Guinness World Record for the greatest number of people attending and participating in a software lesson at a single venue.
For this lesson, the powers in charge mixed two very important subjects: water and 3D printing. The overall idea was not only to educate and break records, but also to show how resources can be more effectively used and processed with technology like 3D design software and resulting 3D printing. This is also a specific subject we cover often, from more simple items like 3D printed hand pumps to large companies using 3D scanning to assist in preventing and reducing corrosion levels in massive city operations.
On November 28th, however, 914 students from 50 schools made their way into the annals of the Guinness World Records, as they gathered at the Baptist Rainbow Primary School. This school was created under the Hong Kong Baptist Convention and is committed to a strong focus on holistic education, so that students are balanced in: spirituality, morality, intellectualism, physical aspects, as well as more social and aesthetic areas.
In the huge event hosted at this school, students and volunteers came together from many other learning institutions, breaking a world record–all in the name of understanding how technology can benefit entities in charge of dealing with extremely important resources like water.
The previous world record for the ‘largest software lesson’ was 500 students in attendance, with the time requirement being at least 30 minutes. For the event at Baptist Rainbow Primary School, students were busy learning for over 55 minutes, beating the previous record in numbers–and time–with ease.
“We want our kids to look at the world and say, ‘These are problems that need to be solved. We can use our creativity to solve those problems to make the world a better place,’” said Baptist Rainbow Primary School Principal Chu.
This enormous project was the culmination of many months of planning between the involved entities, and as students from kindergarten to college ages arrived that morning, roll was taken at allocated classrooms, and they were all given wrist bands for identification. Internet was beefed up specifically for the event to include speedy WiFi, and classrooms also had video and audio communication during the momentous event.
Those participating were able to enjoy presentations regarding the importance of water for mankind, with speeches by Erwin Huang and Kenneth Lo of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. They were then led through the 3D design lesson using Makers Empire 3D design software by Lap Leung, Makers Empire co-founder, and Chris Leung, DTSL marketing director.
“There are many people in the world who are not able to receive drinking water every day but with advances in technology, solutions utilizing 3D design and 3D printing are simpler than ever before to help solve problems related to efficient and effective use of water resources,” AiTLE Chair Albert Wong said. “AiTLE would like to thank all the participating schools, partners, sponsors, all of the witnesses, stewards, volunteers, parents and students for all their hard work and efforts in making this event possible.”
“The community of Hong Kong is uniquely placed to share its experience and learnings with its large dense population and limited water resources. Over many years they have carefully managed effective water usage. Students at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University have also undertaken projects that have assisted less fortunate communities in Cambodia sharing their knowledge and skills to help improve their quality of life.”
Bolstering enthusiasm and further integrating 3D printing technology into the event, each participating student and volunteer received a commemorative 3D printed souvenir medal sponsored by DTSL.
“This record breaking event demonstrated that schools and students have no limit to their creativity and innovation,” said DTSL Business Director Jack Wu. “In using the latest 3D printing tools schools and students in Hong Kong can be confident that they are either staying ahead or keeping in step with their peers abroad.”
Those attending were also able to participate in drawings for a Tiertime 3D printer, Tinkerine 3D Printer, as well as the Makers Empire 3D Printing Learning Program for schools, with DTSL professional installation and training services.
“What an event! Students will be able to remember this Guinness World Record breaking event for the rest of their lives,” said Lap Leung, co-founder of Makers Empire. “More importantly, through 3D design and 3D printing, they develop design thinking principles along with critical analysis and problem solving capabilities. To have students from kindergarten participating and designing in 3D is simply amazing!”
AiTLE was formed by a group of school IT coordinators & ICT Teachers in 2002, with the main goal being to offer education through ‘the use of information technologies in the form of peer-sharings, seminars and workshops.’ They are heavily committed to quality, experiential education, research, as well as promoting articles and documentation which are relevant to the Association’s mission.
Founded in Australia in 2013, Makers Empire also launched Makers Empire in Hong Kong the following year in partnership with distribution partner, DTSL, a leading 3D printing solution provider offering a full suite of 3D printing and scanning solutions for designers, architects, students, and hobbyists.
Also of note is a challenge currently being sponsored by Makers Empire, which invites students between the ages of 5-13 to enter their latest 3D STEAM-based competition. Lots of cool prizes are being offered, to include signed Jim Davis Garfield artwork, an Afinia 3D printer, a Polar 3D printer, and more. The completion runs through December 9th. Click here for more information on that new competition. Discuss this story in the 3D Printing World Record forum on 3DPB.com.