43 Primary Schools Share Their Design Thinking Learning in 3D Printing Showcase

On Monday 3rd December, 43 South Australian schools joined together to create a showcase of their learning around Design Thinking using 3D printing and 3D design with Makers Empire at the Wayville Showgrounds in Adelaide.

Organised by the Department for Education (SA) and Makers Empire, the 3D Printing in Primary Schools Showcase was the culmination of two terms of work by the students and their teachers, who had undertaken Makers Empire’s pioneering Learning by Design course.

Learning by Design was recently the subject of a 12-month Macquarie University research study into primary school makerspaces. The recently published research report showed compelling learning benefits for students and teachers.

These learning benefits were on fully display at the Showcase, where students proudly showed off their 3D designs, prototypes, projects and new Design Thinking skills and exchanged ideas with their peers. It was truly inspiring to walk around the event and listen to students talking articulately and intelligently with students from other schools about their Design Thinking projects – the level of understanding, critical thinking and problem solving on display was extremely impressive.

Check out some of the pics from the day:

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Designed to engage students in STEM using 3D technology, the 3D Printing in Primary Schools project is a a joint initiative between Makers Empire, the Department for Education (South Australia) and participating public primary schools in South Australia.

This pioneering project equips teachers from participating primary schools with the tools, resources and support to teach Design Thinking, STEM and 21st-century learning skills using 3D design and 3D printing. Since 2016, 170 SA primary schools have participated in the program.

At the end of the showcase, the following winners were announced:

  • Winner of the Video competition: Littlehampton Primary School
  • Runner Up 1 of the Video competition: Kaurna Plains School
  • Runner Up 2 of the Video competition: Roseworthy Primary School
  • 2018 Showcase winner: Watervale Primary School

Congratulations to all of the winners, runners ups and participating schools! It was wonderful to see all the powerful learning you’ve achieved.

We’ll be doing follow up posts on all the winners and runners ups over the next few weeks.


Makers Empire helps K-8 educators teach Design Thinking and STEM/STEAM concepts and implement maker pedagogy in the classroom using 3D design and 3D printing. Our pioneering 3D solutions for schools include 3D modelling software, over 130 curriculum-aligned lesson plans, a teacher’s dashboard for easy class management, professional development for teachers and ongoing support. Makers Empire is used by thousands of teachers and hundreds of thousands of students in Australia, the USA, Asia and Europe. Join us.

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