The UK’s Brighton-based MakerClub is important in that it is one of the 3D printing technology companies that recognizes how important it is to invest in the future: our kids.
Since they will be the inventors and makers of the future, it’s important to expose our children to grade-level appropriate technology and science as soon as possible — and not only does it enrich their minds, but as they grow, so will the technology. The world of 3D printing is still in its infancy, and it doesn’t take a crystal ball to know that future generations are going to take this amazing — and fun — technology and run with the winds of change.
MakerClub is involved in a handful of different projects for school-aged kids right now (including the Carduino, a customizable remote-controlled car that kids can 3D print themselves, which we reported on recently), and just recently received an £80,000 grant from the UK government to design a school-age online resource for programming, 3D design, and electronic engineering. Translating to about $126,000, these funds were provided to MakerClub as one of fifteen companies selected as finalists out of hundreds of applicants in the ‘Learning Technologies: Design for Impact’ competition sponsored by the UK government. (For a full list including the other finalists, click here.)
As a specialist in 3D robotics, MakerClub applied to be included in the UK government program earlier in the year. As one of the few companies chosen to work on developing a system, which may be rolled out all over the UK, MakerClub will be using their expertise in 3D robotics to perform a feasibility study to investigate:
- New ways of teaching code.
- Electronics and design using 3D printing.
- Development of a mobile app.
- Development of an online learning system.
MakerClub also has an indiegogo campaign running, which was launched in mid-October to raise £10,000 for their packaged 3D printed robotics projects for children. So far, they have reached more than half their goal, with the campaign ending on December 4th.
“We’re creating a collaborative online learning platform that works with companion robotic projects,” said Simon Riley, the founder of MakerClub, in regards to their vision for the study and the system. “Robots are fantastic cross curricular learning tools, and through 3D printing, we can deliver them globally.”
With a mission to see our younger makers ‘creating rather than consuming,’ the team at MakerClub is working to create a large scale online program that will teach programming, 3D design, and engineering in a user-friendly environment that is based on reward.
“Rather than the usual ‘step-by-step’ construction guide, we want to create a ‘living’ environment where older ‘makers’ can teach younger through streaming video and live chat, people can upload their own robots for sale, and we can play host to intuitive building instructions that are gamified and allow for wiki-style updates by their creators,” said Riley. “Our dream would be that someone with no tech experience could use our system and gain the equivalent of a degree in robotics over the course of a year – we hope schools and home learner worldwide will benefit from this research.”
This is a company that believes in the future and longevity of 3D printing, and that it should be in the hands of children today. Are you contributing to their current indiegogo campaign? Have you created any 3D printed robots? Join the conversation in the MakerClub Receives £80,000 from UK Government forum at 3DPB.com.