Chinchilla Advanced Manufacturing Industry Primary Schools Program

Following successful programs in 2022, Makers Empire is partnering once again with the Queensland Government’s Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water as well as the Chinchilla Community Commerce & Industry to deliver the Chinchilla Advanced Manufacturing Industry Primary Schools Program for eight schools. The program supports the strategic objectives of the Queensland Advanced Manufacturing 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan

Launched in early May, the Chinchilla Advanced Manufacturing Industry Primary Schools Program is helping primary school teachers in eight local schools understand more about job opportunities and career pathways in the sector so that they can share their knowledge with students. Students learn about design thinking and using Makers Empire to create solutions to real-world STEM problems related to the manufacturing sector. 

The schools participating in this project are Chinchilla State School, St Joseph’s School Chinchilla, Chinchilla Christian College, Brigalow State School, Condamine State School, Jandowae State School, Kogan State School and Tara Shire State College.

Local Careers in Advanced Manufacturing

In the first phase of the program, teachers from across the district came together to learn about advanced manufacturing careers in the Chinchilla region on the Western Downs. This included attending a site tour at Dalby’s Simplicity Australia, a leading manufacturer of airseeders, that are critical to Australian agriculture, in April.

Inspiring Insights

During the professional development days for teachers in late April, participants also heard from inspiring guest speakers, including:

  • Lachlan Reis from 3D printing specialist Applax, a Chinchilla state school alumnus who started and sold a drone business, and now runs a company providing 3D printing for the resources sector, all at just 20 years of age
  • STEM specialist Renitta Flynn, Dalby South State School (Outstanding Teacher of STEM, 2021 Peter Doherty Awards)
  • STEM specialist Jay Wright, Vale View State school (Outstanding School STEM, 2022 Peter Doherty Awards).

Learning Through Problem-Solving

Mandi Dimitriadis, Director of Learning at Makers Empire led a session showing teachers how to help students develop skills that could be used in advanced manufacturing using Makers Empire’s 3D design tools and real-world problem solving.  Luke Tansell, Hardware Expert at Makers Empire, then ran a session on 3D printing as each school received a 3D printer as part of the program.

Over terms 2 and 3, the teachers will work with their students on projects that will develop their problem-solving and STEM capabilities, key skills required in the advanced manufacturing sector.  The projects are also designed to raise student awareness of career opportunities in the sector.

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