What a year 2018 was! It’d be almost impossible to list everything that happened but here are some of the highlights.

In Numbers

In 2018, there are 12,000 teachers and 500,000 students using Makers Empire.

Students created over 3 millions designs using Makers Empire 3D. That’s 15,000 new designs each day!

Since the launch of new 3D game creator, Maze Mania, two months ago, students have created 60,000 mazes and made 2,300,000 maze runs. We think it’s safe to say that our first 3D game creator has been a smash hit!

New Features for Schools

This year, we introduced dozens of great new features to our easy to use 3D modelling software, Makers Empire 3D. Highlights include a new 3D Maker World, which houses the Training Lab, Challenge Central, Daily Challenges, Competition Arena, Game Zone and  Mission Maker, where teachers and students can create their own design challenges.

In the Teacher’s Dashboard, improvements included a new professional development video series and built-in student assessment. We upgraded the Lesson Plan Library and simplified Class Management Tools. We also introduced a new On Boarding section to help teachers get up and running as quickly as possible.

Inspiring Students, Teachers and Schools

In 2018, we continued to be blown away by the incredible learning achieved by the thousands of teachers and hundreds of thousands of students using Makers Empire in the classroom.

Students learned about entrepreneurship by holding a mini Shark Tank day where students had to pitch their 3D printed inventions and students learned how to speak English by making 3D printed dollhouse furniture. Students helped build new relationships with senior citizens with 3D printing and students helped solve sustainability issues in their own school. Again and again, we were thrilled to see how students are using Makers Empire to transform learning and help solve real-world problems.

We were also heartened by accounts from teachers who shared their 3D printing journeys with us. Robin told us how Makers Empire had helped her become a 3D printing guru in her district (and led to a new job as a STEM leader!) Karie shared how Makers Empire had been a game-changer for her school district.

We’d also liked to thank the teachers who shared their experiences on our blog. Christopher wrote a frank account — So you have a 3D printer – now what? — detailing his rocky journey to 3D printing success while Megan shared how her students created a school nature play space using Makers Empire. Kate revealed 5 ways Makers Empire has been a tool of transformation in her classroom and Jeff wrote a fantastic account of how his class made and sold 3D printed ornaments to raise funds for a hospital.

Delivering Large-Scale Projects

This year, we ran three large-scale projects, delivering 3D technology to hundreds of schools at a time.

In Australia, we ran the third year of the 3D Printing in Schools project, a joint partnership between the Department for Education (SA), Makers Empire and the participating schools. 100 schools took part in the program this year: see some of them in our write-ups of Showcase Day 1 and Showcase Day 2. To date, 170 schools have been part of this globally pioneering program.

Worldwide, we were part of the GE Additive Program for the second year. In 2018, this program delivered free 3D technology including hardware, software and curriculum, to 600 schools around the world. This year, we managed the education component of the Program, helping teachers around the globe realise the full learning potential of 3D printing.

Makers Empire also achieved our first large-scale project in the Middle East this year. Working with Dubai-based education consultancy, Ibtikar and the UAE Ministry of Education, we have commenced work to deliver 3D technology to 235 primary schools in the UAE in 2019.

Evidence-Based Learning

In 2018, Macquarie University published its research study on primary school makerspaces and their impact on student learning. This year-long research study examined the effect using Makers Empire had on primary school students critical thinking skills, Design Thinking skills, creativity and spatial awareness.

The research study results were compelling, showing that makerspaces can be highly effective at developing children’s creativity, critical thinking, design thinking and digital skills. Students were highly engaged with the 3D technology, and the idea of solving genuine design challenges – it helped boost their confidence and resilience when dealing with setbacks, particularly for those less capable students. The research study also showed that teachers became more comfortable with technology, and more collaborative and flexible in their teaching.

Industry Recognition

This year, Makers Empire achieved a number of awards.

In October, Director of Learning, Mandi Dimitriadis was a finalist in the 2018 Winnovation Awards.

In November, CEO, Jon Soong, won the CEO Institute Scholarship Award at the 2018 Impact Awards.

In December, CEO, Jon Soong, was a finalist in the Adelaide Pitch@Palace Australia 2.0 competition and is through to the next round.

Finally last week, Makers Empire was listed second in Common Sense Education’s Best Edtech of 2018 List of twenty products after Khan Academy. This list was drawn from 180 EdTech products reviewed by the industry-leading Common Sense Education team so we are both thrilled and humbled by this incredible achievement.

In The News

In 2018, Makers Empire was the subject of 70+ articles, features, reviews and mentions in education, EdTech, and business media. We were written about in English, French, German, Chinese, Arabic, Estonian and Turkish.

We also made TV news four times this year: Makers Empire: Your Money Live | Channel 9 and Printing Power | Southern Cross TV in November and Pitch to a Prince | Channel 10 and 3D Printed Ornaments for the IWK Foundation | CTV Morning Live in December.

Our Team

This year, we farewelled Kim, Lori and Jeanette. Thank you for all your hard work and contributions.

We also welcomed Rhiannon and Gill, who have been fantastic additions to the team.

Thanks to…

Thank you to our advisory board members, Tim, Jana, Kevin and Andrey, for their sage advice, support and help.

Thank you also to our teacher ambassadors for inspiring our community and helping to spread the word about Makers Empire.

Finally, a huge thank you to the thousands of teachers and hundreds of thousands of students who use Makers Empire in the classroom. You’re the reason that we do what we do.

Happy Holidays!

Makers Empire will be closed between 24 December – 2 January, inclusive, so we can enjoy the Christmas break.  If you email us during this time there may be a delay in our response. We’ll be back in the office on January 3rd.

Happy Holidays from the Makers Empire team. We wish all of you a happy, relaxing and safe holiday.