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Supporting the adoption of 3D printing in schools

In 2013, the Department for Education (DfE) funded a small 3D printer project to explore the potential for use of 3D printers to enrich teaching across STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and design subjects. 21 schools were asked to explore innovative ways of using the technology to help teach more complex scientific and mathematical ideas. The project was based on the appreciation that 3D printing is now an established industrial technology used across a range of industries and in everyday life.

Equipping pupils with the skills to understand the application and potential of this new type of technology, is therefore an important part of the learning. To support this evolution, at 2Simple we encouraged schools to use our Purple Mash ‘2Design and Make’ resource, as a new way to make students’ designs come to life as three-dimensional objects.

Of course for teachers this is yet another emerging technology that demands new knowledge and teaching skills.

At 2Simple we already have a wide range of schools using our resource to introduce design and 3D printing to students. However, for those who need a little more help, we’re running a free webinar to make sure everyone is confident using the technology. The webinar will show teachers and teaching assistants how to deliver great lessons with ‘2Design and Make’.

To encourage schools to ‘get started’ the 2Simple team has also launched a competition to coincide with the webinar, which invites students to create and submit their very own 3D design.

The competition takes in to account the fact that despite the DfE’s push being mindful of the technology’s relevance to the STEM subjects, it will be a part of most people’s lives whether they are in clothing design, estate agency, medicine or travel to name just a few. In turn the competition encourages children to focus on their particular area of interest; they can design a bus, or explore the inside of a tree trunk, we want to see the competition let students’ imaginations run wild. 

The winning child will receive a 3D modelling kit to take home, and their school will receive a 3D printer! Two runners up will receive 3D-printed models of their work.

The ‘free to enter’ competition is open now and runs until 14th October. Schools should visit our website.