FOUR Port Augusta schools have been named in the state-wide roll-out of 3D printing technology in primary schools.
Augusta Park Primary School, Carlton School, Flinders View Primary School and Stirling North Primary School, as well as Quorn Area School, are among the 50 South Australian schools named to receive the new technology.
The joint initiative between state government, public schools and Makers Empire has brought forward the nation’s first large scale roll-out of 3D printing.
The technology is part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum, developing students’ critical, creative and design thinking skills.
Carlton School’s Year 1, 2 and 3 teacher Shauna Wood has been placed in charge of the school’s new program. Miss Wood said the technology provides new learning for both students and teachers.
“I think it is great because it integrates so many curriculum areas that we have to do in a busy classroom,” she said.
“You have got your maths, science, you can do literacy, then you have also got your digital technology and design technology, and art as well.”
Six Carlton School students, as well as representatives from the other involved Port Augusta schools, attended a Presentation Day at Stirling North Primary School to explore the several uses for the new technology.
The 3D printing has been used to make prosthetic parts such as hearts and lungs, while Stirling North students created a model ship. Miss Wood said the students were really excited by the prospects of the technology.
“We are in an ever-changing world and we all have to keep up and technology is just improving leaps and bounds,” she said.
Makers Empire, a global educational technology firm based in Adelaide, launched the world-first 3D printing learning program.
The program – Makers Empire 3D for Schools — helps schools introduce 3D printing to the classroom with lesson plans, a teacher’s dashboard, professional development and analytics.
Education and Child Development Minister Susan Close underlined the need to provide students with emerging technologies from an early age, with the government investing $250 million in STEM infrastructure.
“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.”