Wudinna students get creative with 3D printing project

Representatives from Wudinna Area School visited Port Augusta last month as part of a regional 3D Printing in Primary School Schowcase Day.

Hosted by the Department for Education and Makers Empire, the showcase was hosted at the Australian Arid Botanical Gardens and was designed to celebrate the learning achieved during the 2018 3D Printing in Primary Schools Project.

Wudinna Area School was present alongside representatives from Kimba Area School and Coober Pedy Area School to exchange ideas and gather feedback around the ways 3D printing and design could be used to solve real-world problems in schools and communities.

Wudinna teacher Myfanwy Spencer-Smith led a group of year 3 students Joshua North, Ashlee Sampson, Aspen Harris and Emmie Sargent displaying their work.

3D printing work undertaken by the students this year included creating 3D pencil toppers and Aboriginal dreamtime stories, based on ‘Australia’s newest big thing’.

“We started with 3D printing at the school just this year, and last year my year 2/3 class were fundraising to buy a printer and we have done a few projects this year,” she said.

“The first was the 3D pencil toppers because pencils were getting left around, broken or lost and this solved that issue, and another one looked at Aboriginal dreamtime stories and used those as inspiration to create ‘Australia’s newest big thing’ with an Aboriginal context.

“We took those projects to Port Augusta.”

The 3D Printing in Primary Schools Project is a joint initiative between the department, Makers Empire and public primary schools across the state.

The project equips teachers with the tools, resources and support to teach design thinking, STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and modern learning skills using 3D design and printing.

Ms Spencer-Smith said Wudinna’s students got a lot out of the day and she predicted the use of 3D printing would only increase at the school.

“It was awesome for students to meet others using the same technology, seeing what problems they had and how that was overcome, and sharing what they have been doing with it,” she said.

“A lot of students at the school are interested in 3D printing and excited at seeing the products being printed.

“We will get more students involved, we have had the 5/6 class use it and hopefully it will be infiltrated across the school.”