National Trust of SA and Makers Empire Team Up for Historical Moonta Mines Project

Makers Empire is excited to be working with The National Trust of South Australia to deliver a school-based program to the Copper Coast and Yorke Peninsula and encourage students to imagine the life of children in the 1860s at the Moonta Mines. The Moonta Mines: The Magic and Mystery of Life on the Mines project has been funded by the National Trust of South Australia with significant support from the Moonta Branch.

Over the past two school terms, students from five primary schools – Moonta Area School, Wallaroo Primary School, Harvest Christian College, Mary McKillop School, and Central Yorke School – have been using Makers Empire, augmented reality (AR) and 3D printing to bring the stories of the past to life. Each participating school has received a subscription to Makers Empire, access to a custom, in-app Moonta Mines Challenge Course aligned to the Australian Curriculum and a 3D printer.

Students were taken on a journey back in time exploring the stories of the early days of the Moonta Mines. They visited the Moonta Mines Museum and worked through a series of learning activities to find out what it was like for children of the past to live, work, and learn on the mines. Interesting objects from the Museum’s collection including the Pickey Boy’s table, billy goat cart, and household objects have helped the school children imagine life from another era.

In the Moonta Mines challenge course delivered within the Makers Empire 3D design app, students engaged with stories from the past, representing a range of perspectives from early life at Moonta Mines, with a particular focus on First Nations perspectives and Cornish heritage. Stories were presented as purpose-made videos and include themes of daily life, school life, work, technology, and significant events and developments. The challenge course content was delivered as five purpose-designed videos, quizzes, and reflection tasks. Students were also provided with step-by-step design tutorials aligned to each story theme. 

Lastly, students worked on an open-ended design challenge using the Design Thinking cycle to create artefacts that represent significant stories, events, or people that help others understand life in the past. Students were asked to design something that could help a family living and working on the mines. Their designs were then printed out using the provided 3D printers.

The students’ 3D printed designs made using Makers Empire will be on display as part of a special exhibition at the Moonta Mines Museum from September 1st – 27th. See images of the exhibition and some of the designs below. For further details give the Moonta Tourist Office a call on 8821 1891.

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