EOI open for Department of Education NT Schools | Integrating STEM in T-9 Schools with 3D printing

Department of Education NT schools with a primary and/or middle enrolment are invited to apply for the exciting Integrating STEM in T-9 schools with 3D Printing project for 2019. The project has an initial capacity for 30 schools in semester 2 of 2019. Schools will receive a 1-year subscription to Makers Empire, which includes full site access to the 3D printing software and teacher’s dashboard as well as a high-quality professional learning course provided by Makers Empire personnel.

Background to the Project

The Integrating STEM in T-9 schools with 3D Printing project focuses on providing professional learning for primary and middle school teachers in using 3D modelling and design technologies in integrated ways across the curriculum. Identified teachers will actively participate in professional learning that addresses:

  • Critical and creative thinking and the ICT general capabilities
  • The Technologies learning area in the Australian Curriculum
  • Using the Makers Empire 3D modelling program
  • Understanding how to operate and use 3D printing within a learning context
  • Embedding learning technologies across the curriculum
  • Improving student involvement in STEM learning.

To achieve this, over term three and four in 2019, participants will undertake Makers Empire’s popular Learning by Design course.

Project Inclusions for Schools


Learning by Design Course:

  • 20 hours of professional learning
  • 2 face-to-face PD days
  • 1 showcase day to share your learning
  • 2-hour online, on-demand PD course
  • Project management and reports
  • For 2+ teachers per school


A 12-month subscription to Makers Empire:

  • Easy to use 3D software
  • Class management tools
  • 150 curriculum-aligned lesson plans
  • Built-in student assessment
  • Training
  • Ongoing support
  • For all teachers and students in a school


  • 3 x Flashforge Inventor IIS 3D Printers
  • 20 rolls filament
  • Training
  • Ongoing support

Expectations and Commitments

School Leaders:

  • Identify and provide release for 2 days for at least 2 participating classroom teachers or teams of teachers (for small schools where the release of 2 teachers would be problematic, site leaders may choose to submit a joint or partnership application).
  • Support capacity building of classroom teachers through the facilitation of ‘flow‐on’ professional learning within their sites.

Participating teachers:

  • Attend 2 face to face professional learning days.
  • Participate in professional learning communities.
  • Design, trial and document a learning plan that uses 3D modelling and design aligned with TfEL (? check with NT) Learning Design principles and the Australian Curriculum.
  • Participate in data collection.
  • Share their experiences with others.

Learning Outcomes for Students and Teachers

Participating students will:

  • Engage in STEM and maker-based learning using 3D design and printing.
  • Address the Technologies learning area in the Australian Curriculum.
  • Develop their creativity and important critical thinking, Design Thinking and digital skills.
  • Learn how to solve real-world problems with Design Thinking.

Participating teachers will:

  • Complete full days of professional development including 20+ hours of professional development.
  • Develop pedagogical approaches that enable students to develop deep technological knowledge as well as critical, creative and Design Thinking skills.
  • Be supported to design innovative learning programs that provide authentic, meaningful contexts for students to engage in STEM and maker-based learning.
  • Activate the potential of 3D technologies to develop and enhance students’ 21st-century learning skills.
  • Become more comfortable with technology and more collaborative and flexible in their teaching.

Timeline for the Project

Term Two

  • Submit expression of interest
  • Participating schools notified

Term Three

  • Professional Learning Day 1 – week 2/3
  • Professional Learning Day 2 – week 6/7

Term Four

  • Project – teach unit of work – week 1- 7
  • Showcase day – week 8

Evidence Based Learning

From mid 2017 to mid 2018, Macquarie University’s Department of Educational Studies partnered with the NSW Department of Education, Carlingford West Public School, Parramatta East Public School, Oatlands Public School and Makers Empire for a research project on maker pedagogy in primary schools.

The collaborative research project focused on the impact of maker pedagogies in K-2 settings through the provision of the Learning by Design course, a blended teacher professional development program and the use of high quality 3D modelling and printing tools.

The recently published research study report revealed that makerspaces can be highly effective at developing children’s creativity, critical thinking, design thinking and digital skills.

Students were highly engaged with the 3D technology, and the idea of solving genuine design challenges – it helped boost their confidence and resilience when dealing with setbacks, particularly for those less capable students.

The research study also showed that teachers became more comfortable with technology, and more collaborative and flexible in their teaching.

Furthermore, all of the 24 classroom teachers who participated in the focus group expressed a desire to integrate 3D design-based makerspaces into their future classes.


What Teachers Say About Learning by Design

“This was the best PD that I have been involved in for ages… This whole project has been inspiring for teachers and students in empowering students to become changemakers. Our students were so engaged and excited about solving a real-world problem… The fact that they could see they could help someone through their own design, meant their learning was authentic and valued.”

“I was a little hesitant at first, but as soon as I began working on my project it became very exciting…I love learning about new things particularly in the area of Technology and design and this was the perfect opportunity. I have learnt more in the last 4 months than I have for a long time. Thank you!”

“A lot of (students), their resilience (improved). The kids that would just sort of give up learnt a lot more about persevering with it, and to keep trying, which was good. And the main thing that I loved was that they sort of found problems with their designs and they weren’t really intimidated by that anymore.”

“Thanks for the opportunity to be involved in the project. It has built my own knowledge as well as my capacity to share with my staff. I am currently running six 3D printing projects this term!”

“I really liked how it allowed me to look at learning as a whole, right, not ‘this is English, this is Maths’… Really, I could think about in what ways I could make it more meaningful. I could change it and relate it to all the Key Learning Areas.”

“I think the lesson plans are fantastic for teachers – especially those who may find the hardest part being the inspiration/ideas on where to start…The Makers Empire app is a MASSIVE value add to the learning… the ability to create their design in 3D AND then print it makes the learning so much more obtainable and relevant/real.”

“Congratulations to you all on a fabulous 3D Printing Showcase at Grange Primary School. It was an absolute privilege to be able to celebrate and share in such fantastic models of teaching and learning. We were completely blown away by the diverse displays, presentations and stories that have made the 3D Printing in Primary Schools project such a success. Every story showed how you’ve been able to integrate 3D technology into teaching and learning across the curriculum. More importantly, every story showed how the technology is a tool, helping to develop critical & creative thinking, design thinking and powerful learner dispositions.”

Submit Your School’s Expression of Interest By 21/05/19

Priority will be given to schools or partnerships that:

  • Have referenced STEM or Technologies as a priority; and/or
  • Are endeavouring to build the capacity of their primary teachers to embed learning technologies into the curriculum; and/or
  • Put in a joint application from multiple schools from within a partnership; and/or
  • Are interested in improving literacy or numeracy through the purposeful use of new and emerging technologies.

To submit your school’s expression of interest, download this Learning by Design ‐ 3D Printing in Primary Schools – NT Expression of Interest form.

Submit your completed form by 6:30 pm Tuesday 21 May 2019 by email to info@makersempire.com or via the form below.

For More Information

Further information can be obtained by contacting:

– Director of Learning Mandi Dimitriadis at info@makersempire.com / (08) 7099 4030

– Department of Education NT Project Lead XXXXX / (08) XXXX XXXXX