Makers Empire Launches Pilot Program to Get 3D Printing Education into South Australian Primary Schools

Share this Article

2014-02-10_makersempire_logo_hiresIt’s pretty much universally agreed upon that 3D printing education is vital in schools from early elementary through college levels. Most kids in school today will encounter 3D technology in their careers, no matter what industry they go into. As the technology evolves so rapidly, it’s critical to familiarize children with it as early as possible so that they can keep up in the future. One issue that arises, however, is finding enough teachers who have sufficient knowledge about 3D printing to be able to teach students. Particularly in elementary schools, many teachers haven’t been trained in the technology; it’s likely, in fact, that their students may already know more about 3D printing than they do.

stem-main2Who will teach the teachers? That’s the question that Makers Empire had to consider before launching a pilot program that will implement 3D printing education within 28 public primary schools in South Australia. The program, which will officially launch in the first semester of 2016, is part of an effort to revive flagging interest in STEM subjects, which schools have not significantly been addressing. 3D printers and Makers Empire software will be provided to the pilot schools, but first, the teachers need to learn.

“Simply installing 3D printers in schools is not enough – teachers must receive training on the hardware and the software as well as receive advice on how 3D design and printing fits into the curriculum,” said Jon Soong, CEO of Makers Empire. “The fastest and most effective way to use this technology is adoption of ready-made and proven programs together with training. This initiative will train cohorts of teachers, building communities of expertise that can collaborate and share knowledge and teaching practices.”

jonsoong

Jon Soong, CEO of Makers Empire. [Photo: Australian Financial Review]

The $40,000 one-year program is a collaboration between Makers Empire, Datacom and the South Australia Department for Education and Child Development. The program is part of the government’s response to criticism that the state’s schools are doing little to encourage interest in STEM subjects, focusing instead on liberal arts education that will ultimately produce thousands of graduates will few job prospects. The hope is that 3D printing, which is so appealing to young people, will be a gateway to generate interest in other areas of science and technology.

aussiekidsFemale students are a particular focus. Worryingly, females still lag behind males in the pursuit of careers in science and technology, which is likely at least partially due to the wrongheaded but still-prevalent belief that “girls just aren’t good at math and science.” Makers Empire hopes to change that.

“Anecdotally, we see that more girls are into design than coding,” said Soong. “Of course there are exceptions but it’s just the way it is. But we can’t forget that STEM is more than just computer science. The concepts you learn in 3D printing can open into health science, biology, even a career in the 3D printing industry itself, where the jobs’ growth is much faster than in traditional computing.”

The schools involved in the pilot program will report back on the ways they are implementing the technology in their classrooms, as well as on the outcomes and student evaluations. If the program is a success, more primary schools may be added in the future.  Discuss this program in the Makers Empire 3D printing Education forum on 3DPB.com.

 

Facebook Comments

Share this Article


Related Articles

Interview with Gina Scala of Stratasys on 3D Printing in Education

3D Printing in Africa: 3D Printing in Ghana



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

3D Printing in Africa: Kenya & 3D Printing

Kenya has been considered to be a hub for innovation in Africa.  Personally, I started working with Kenya in 3D printing technology with a Makerbot Reseller, Amit Shah who runs...

Furthering STEM Education: Thesis Student 3D Prints Micro & Millifluidic Devices on a Desktop Machine

In ‘Use of stereolithographic 3D printing for fabrication of micro and millifluidic devices for undergraduate engineering studies,’ University of Tennessee at Chattanooga thesis student Cooper Thome explores the importance of...

3D Printing in Zimbabwe

While the technology has been around for some time, 3D printing is still relatively new in Zimbabwe. Its full potential is yet to be realised, but both the young generation...

The Barnes Group Advisors Licenses Educational Material to South African Start-Up

The Barnes Group Advisors is a global Additive Manufacturing Engineering Consultancy working toward industrializing the technology. Part of its services include training in additive manufacturing with what it calls its Activate...


Training


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our 3DPrint.com.

You have Successfully Subscribed!