Renishaw is known for many things: metal 3D printing, medical 3D printing, and more. It’s a huge company, with more than 70 offices in 35 countries and over 4,000 employees around the world. It’s not too big, however, to reach out to small groups within the community, and the company has made it clear that it values education, particularly STEM education. Now Renishaw is deepening its commitment to education in two ways.
The first is the establishment of a new Fabrication Development Centre (FDC), which officially launches today at Renishaw’s Miskin facility in South Wales. A resource for hands-on learning, the aim of the center is to inspire young people to pursuse STEM careers. Schools or groups of young people can use the facility for free for lessons or workshops. The FDC has two classrooms, staffed by qualified teachers and Renishaw’s STEM ambassadors. Its educational equipment includes 3D printers.
Today, Renishaw is also initiating a partnership with Bloodhound SSC, a project that aims to create a car that will break the sound barrier and become the first land vehicle to travel at 1,000 mph. The car made its first public test drive last year and has been using additive manufacturing in its development. Bloodhound SSC also devotes a good deal of resources to education, and driver Andy Green will officially open the FDC.
“With companies already struggling to recruit skilled candidates, it is important to get more young people interested in STEM subjects at GCSE and A-Level. Creating engaging educational experiences for pupils at a young age can be essential to their selection of the subject at degree or apprenticeship level,” said Simon Biggs, Education Outreach Officer at Renishaw.
“The Fabrication Development Centre not only gives pupils a chance to escape the classroom, but it also enables them to grasp the link between the school curriculum and industry. They can take part in motivating workshops that complement the exam specification and give them a better understanding of the career opportunities available to them in the future.”
While the facility is only being officially launched today, it has already been in use for some time, with positive results. Students at Radyr Comprehensive School have been using the FDC, and have displayed increased motivation in school after just a few months. The school now plans to extend its use of the FDC across the three years of its GCSE program to increase interest and uptake of design subjects.
Education, especially in 3D printing, is more important than ever as the technology advances and becomes part of industries including medical, automotive, and others – in fact, there are few if any industries that 3D printing has not affected in some way. That’s also the case with other advanced technologies such as robotics and virtual reality. There can never be too many centers dedicated to educating young people in these technologies, and the FDC is a welcome addition to the world’s technological educational resources.
Schools in the Bristol, Gloucestershire and South Wales areas can access an online booking form from Renishaw’s educational outreach page, where students, schools and teachers can also find information about Renishaw’s work with young people and engineering career advice.
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