Makers Empire Partnering With CITB to Educate Secondary Students About Careers in the Construction Industry

Makers Empire is partnering and supporting efforts by the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) to help school students in South Australia start learning about careers in construction and imagine an exciting future for the industry.

Under this new partnership, the CITB x Makers Empire Learning by Design pilot program saw teachers from 15 schools across the state undertake professional development in curriculum-aligned lesson plans and tools such as 3D printers. The participating schools are Bowden Brompton Community School, Cardijn College, Charles Campbell College, Christies Beach High School, Findon High School, Marryatville High School, Murray Bridge High School, Naracoorte High School, Parafield Gardens High School, Pedare Christian College, Seaton High School, St Paul’s College, Victor Harbor High School, Willunga High School and Gawler and Districts College.
The first professional development day for teachers started with a welcome from Mandi Dimitriadis, Director of Learning at Makers Empire and an introduction to the Lot Fourteen precinct and tour of the work in progress by Daniel Redden, Project Director of Lot Fourteen

After the tour, there was a presentation about the role of the CITB in helping students access different pathways into a career in the construction industry. Toni Hartley, CITB’s Program Manager then presented a brief overview of CITB’s education activities and how they address the new VET in Schools policy, before a sample of videos in the newly created Careers Under Construction Challenge Course were played.

Teachers then spent some time exploring the Makers Empire 3D design app and newly created Careers Under Construction Challenge Course with Mandi’s guidance, This Challenge Course will deliver awareness of the career pathways into the various jobs in the construction industry to middle school students whilst also teaching them about sustainable buildings and how to create infrastructure for the future.  

Teachers then finished the day with a hands-on session on 3D printing that included unboxing and using a 3D printer led by Makers Empire’s hardware expert, Luke Tansell, so they were all well prepared when they take delivery of their own 3D printers included as part of this project. 

A pilot program funded by the CITB will begin in schools during Term 2.
The CITB x Makers Empire Learning by Design pilot program addresses requirements of the Australian Curriculum Technologies area and will introduce students to the building and construction industry through design thinking problem-solving methodology and 3D design to create solutions to construction problems or challenges in a local context.
In 2022, the program will be supported by a $75,000 investment from the CITB.
Holly Willcox, the CITB’s acting chief executive officer, said the program will introduce students to a variety of different roles in the building and construction industry while developing their problem-solving skills and design thinking.
“The Careers Under Construction Challenge Course engages practicing industry professionals with teachers and students to solve real world design problems,” Ms Willcox said.
“We have an example of a school collaborating with a builder to redesign a scoreboard in the gymnasium to prevent it from ongoing damage.
“It’s never too early to start learning about the variety of careers the industry provides.
“The key to each program in schools will be a growing list of industry partners that can provide the appropriate context to support student learning and skills knowledge.”

Mandi Dimitriadis, Makers Empire’s director of learning said that the partnership with CITB was especially exciting for Makers Empire as it enabled the company to create real-world industry links for middle school students and their teachers. 

“While participating in engaging design projects, students will also become more aware of what the construction industry is all about and the many pathways and opportunities the industry presents,” Mandi said. 

“We can’t wait to see the solutions students’ come up with for solving construction-related problems using design thinking and 3D printing.” 

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