THE imagination of a child knows no bounds, and thanks to the nation’s first wide-scale roll-out of 3D printing technology, the power to create is right at local students’ fingertips.
Playford Primary School is one of around 50 South Australian primary schools that are taking part in the joint government initiative designed to engage students in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) using 3D (three dimensional) printing technology.
Adelaide-based company Makers Empire is part of the initiative, and its software gives teachers the opportunity to bring 3D printing into the classroom.
Playford Primary School principal Dean Clark said the 3D printing venture has helped develop young students’ creativity, and makes their educational experience both enriching and fun.
“You can just see it in their faces, when their creation is right there in front of them to physically hold,” he said.
“The whole program just puts the technology in the hands of the children and is completely intuitive, so the kids really are the experts.”
Year two students Brandon Murray and Abby van den Ham used the Makers Empire software on their iPads to create design blueprints for bubble blowers.
Abby said the most exciting part of the process was being able to physically take something away from the exercise.
“I used the shapes on the iPad to make a bubble blower that looked like the Makers Empire logo,” she said.
“It was really exciting when it was all done and we could hold our designs in our hands.”
Education and Child Development Minister Susan Close said the State Government has invested $250 million in STEM infrastructure in order for it to be a priority.
“It is so important young people learn about new and emerging technologies from an early age,” she said.
“We live in such a competitive world and any type of technological advantage could mean the difference between getting a job or having a career.”