My hometown of Cleveland is home to the Great Lakes Science Center, and it’s one of my favorite local places to go. I went there on field trips when I was in school, and took kids there on field trips when I worked as a camp counselor. I’ve learned a lot about science and technology there, and it’s stuck; everything was presented in such a cool way that it imprinted itself onto my brain immediately, and, moreover, got me excited about it, which was a hard thing to do back when I was younger. I believe every city should have a science center, because they’re invaluable in teaching kids (and adults) in ways that will keep them interested and engaged.
Science Centre Singapore has been around for 37 years, and has been teaching thousands of kids about science, technology, engineering and math since long before the subjects were grouped into the educational conglomerate known as STEM. The center now has an educational unit called STEM Inc, which is dedicated to bringing applied learning in science to schools around Singapore. The unit was set up last January, and now includes a comprehensive 3D printing education program thanks to a new partnership with Stratasys.
“There has been tremendous progress made in the areas of 3D innovation and 3D printing in recent years,” said Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng, Chief Executive of Science Centre Singapore. “Partnering with industry leader such as Stratasys enables students to gain early access to this new cutting edge technology and to equip themselves with better skills, so as to contribute to the real-world STEM industries in future.”
Stratasys’ Asia Pacific branch has been serious about bringing 3D printing education to the region for some time. They opened a 3D Printing Experience Centre at their Singapore office last year, and earlier this year they ran a pilot program in conjunction with Science Centre Singapore that consisted of two-day 3D printing workshops for students from four schools. The pilot program was so successful that the two organizations are now expanding it to reach as many students as possible through their partnership.
The workshops offered earlier this year taught students about the ways 3D printing has impacted every industry, and also took them through the process of designing and printing their own 3D models. The first school to adopt Stratasys’ 3D printing curriculum was Temasek Polytechnic, which holds the distinction of being the first school in Asia Pacific and Japan to offer 3D printing curriculum.
“The education program provides the opportunity for students to try their hand at it, and for educators to prepare skilled employees for the future, bridging the gap between education and the actual workforce,” said Ido Eylon, General Manager at Stratasys South Asia & Pacific. “Moving forward, we believe the next generation of engineers and designers will be able to unleash even more possibilities in 3D printing as we continue to push the boundaries of this innovative technology.”
“Working with Stratasys has enhanced the learning progress of our students greatly as they are more engaged in their engineering studies while they obtain hands-on experience to operate the latest 3D technologies, 3D printing systems and design for additive manufacturing, which are very relevant across industries currently,” said Chee Feng Peng, Lecturer at Temasek Polytechnic.
The relevance of 3D technology doesn’t seem to be decreasing anytime soon, so educational partnerships such as this one are very wise. Most of the children in school currently will likely need to know something about 3D printing once they’re ready to start their careers, so it’s important to get them started early. If that learning process can be made fun and engaging, so much the better. Discuss this partnership in the Stratasys / Science Center Singapore Forum on 3DPB.com.