Eight schools in Melbourne’s West recently came together for a Showcase Day to celebrate the STEM learning they achieved with a $60,000 grant from the Toyota Community Trust and 3D technology and professional learning delivered by Makers Empire.

The schools involved in the West Melbourne 3D Printing in Schools Project were Jackson School, St Alban’s Heights Primary School, St Margaret’s Primary School, Exford Primary School, St Therese’s School, Westgrove Primary School, Williamstown Primary School and Catholic Regional College St Albans.

The West Melbourne 3D Printing in Schools Project worked towards the goals of the National STEM School Education Strategy 2016-2026 by engaging students in exciting, challenging STEM learning connected to real-world experiences; helping teachers to develop pedagogical approaches that enable students to combine STEM knowledge with critical, creative and design thinking; and building teacher capacity as mentors in their own and other schools.

To achieve the project goals, over term three and four in 2019, project participants undertook Makers Empire’s Learning by Design course.

Makers Empire’s Learning by Design course was the focus of a 12-month Macquarie University research study into primary school makerspaces. The study revealed that makerspaces can have compelling learning benefits for students and can be highly effective at developing their creativity, critical thinking, design thinking and digital skills.

The West Melbourne 3D Printing in Schools Project culminated in last week’s Showcase Day at Williamstown Primary School. Seeing all the students presenting their projects and articulately explaining their learning was a thrill for teachers, students and invited guests.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The West Melbourne 3D Printing in Schools Project schools each received:

  • Makers Empire’s Learning by Design course for two teachers at the schools.
  • Makers Empire 3D design tools, curriculum and resources for all teachers and students for three years
  • 3 x Flashforge Inventor II 3D printers, 20 rolls of filament, training and support.

Makers Empire’s Director of Learning, Mandi Dimitriadis, said, “we were thrilled to see the STEM projects the students and teachers have been working on over the past two terms. Thank you to Toyota for their wonderful support and commitment to helping students gain important STEM skills.”

Chairman of the Toyota Community Trust, Mike Rausa, added, “At Toyota, we’re passionate about championing the next generation of STEM talent. We are proud to support Makers Empire and enjoyed seeing the STEM projects at the Showcase.”

At the showcase, prizes were awarded to St Therese’s School for their awesome cookie-cutter social justice project that involved the whole school and which raised $3,000 for charity and to Jackson School for their school’s fantastic learning and overcoming of challenges to come up with their great school garden herb marker project. Both schools won a 3D printer courtesy of Makers Empire.  

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Makers Empire: Better learning by design

Makers Empire helps K-8 teachers teach Design Thinking, STEM and 21st-century learning skills using 3D printing. Our pioneering 3D solutions for schools include 3D modelling software, over 150 lesson plans aligned with international standards and professional development. With Makers Empire, engaged students learn how to solve real-world problems and make their world better.