Kids get all the coolest toys. From the start of the next school semester, this will include 3D printers for students at 28 South Australian schools, as part of a joint effort to integrate new technology into classroom learning. Like recent efforts to see coding skills prioritised for younger students, the program is designed to foster interest in STEM fields and introduce kids to modern technology.
3D Printing image via Shutterstock.com
The pilot program will consist of 28 different schools from the Adelaide metropolitan area and the Limestone Coast, with teachers to be trained to use the 3D printers ahead of the beginning of the program in the first semester of 2016. The $40,000 year long program comes as a partnership between the Department for Education and Child Development, and the companies Datacom Systems and Maker's Empire — a company that produces 3D printing software, including tools for educators from kindergarten to year 12 to bring 3D printing into the classroom.
“A program like this engages our primary students in exciting ways to develop their future skills and knowledge," said Education and Child Development Minister, Susan Close. “These young children are being given an early introduction to the possibilities that this type of advanced manufacturing technology allows. 3D technology really is the way of the future and by putting printers into classrooms for students to utilise, we are helping to provide pathways to 21st century careers."
With so many uses for 3D printing technology currently being developed — from printing medical prosthesis and replacement organs to machine components and even entire buildings — learning about the technology from a young age could potentially give students a huge advantage in their future careers.
The pilot is being developed with the intention of including more primary schools along the track, based on how successful the learning outcomes and activities of the pilot schools are. If you're in the included area and want to see if your little ones will be able to teach you 3D printing any time soon, here's a full list of the schools that will be included in the pilot program:
Metropolitan schools Brahma Lodge Primary Christie Downs Primary School Elizabeth Downs Primary School Gulfview Heights Primary School Highbury Primary School Keller Road Primary School Modbury Preschool – Year 7 Paralowie R-12 School Salisbury Downs Primary School Salisbury Heights Primary Salisbury Park Primary School
Country Schools – Limestone Coast Compton Primary School Glenburnie Primary School Glencoe Primary School Kalangadoo Primary School Kingston Community School Kirinari Kindergarten Lucindale Area School Melaleuca Park Primary School Millicent North Primary School Moorak Primary School Mount Burr Primary School Mount Gambier North Primary School Mulga St Primary School Nangwarry Primary School Penola Primary School Reidy Park Primary School Yahl Primary School