Miltaburra students embrace 3D technology

Miltaburra Area School is one of 49 South Australian primary schools to have taken part in the nation’s first large scale roll out of 3D printing technology.

The roll out was a joint initiative between the state government, public schools and Makers Empire, and was designed to engage students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) using 3D technology.

With professional learning support from Makers Empire and using their software, teachers from each school learn how to use 3D technology to develop students’ critical, creative, design thinking and STEM skills.

Miltaburra Area School used the technology for 10 weeks starting in term one and in late May representatives from the school travelled to Port Augusta to participate in a regional showcase of the technology.

The school’s principal Karen Stokes said there were multiple benefits to taking part in the roll out of the 3D technology.

“First of all it is very engaging and if you are working on a project you could engage with the process and then see it as a finished product,” she said.

“It also brings critical and creative thinking skills in the classroom.

“It was really good to be part of the roll out, it was a great opportunity to bring the technology into all areas of the curriculum and not just in design and technology.”

She said areas the Miltaburra project brought together in addition to design and technology were critical and creative thinking, digital technology, geography, maths, problem solving and English and literacy.

Education Minister Susan Close said it was important for young students to learn about new and emerging technologies from an early age.

“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,” she said.

“The state government is doing everything it can to drive home the importance of how critical STEM is and this is another unique and exciting example of how the curriculum is changing.”

Makers Empire’s world-first 3D printing learning program — Makers Empire 3D for Schools — contains everything schools need to introduce 3D printing to the classroom with 3D printing lesson plans, a teacher’s dashboard, professional development and analytics.

Makers Empire chief executive officer Jon Soong said the South Australian company was proud to see South Australia be the first state to roll out 3D printing in primary schools on such a scale.