DECD schools with a primary enrolment are invited to apply for the “Learning by Design: 3D Printing in Primary Schools” project for 2018. The project has capacity for 50 schools in each semester. Schools will receive a 1 year whole-of-site subscription to Makers Empire software and accompanying Teacher’s Dashboard as well as access to a comprehensive professional learning program including face to face, PLC and online support during the year.

The 2018 project follows on from the successful 2017 project – see videos from one of the Showcase Days below.

Goals and Objectives

The Learning by Design: 3D Printing in Primary Schools Project aims to support learning across the STEM disciplines by engaging students in exciting, challenging learning that is connected to their real-world experiences, and helping teachers to develop pedagogical approaches that enable students to develop deep technological knowledge combined with critical, creative and design thinking.

Teachers will be supported to design innovative learning programs, that provide authentic, meaningful contexts for students to engage in STEM and maker based learning using 3D design and printing.

The provision of Makers Empire’s tools and resources will help participating teachers activate the potential of 3D technologies to develop and enhance students’ critical, creative and design thinking skills.

More information about next year’s project can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What do participating schools receive?
A: Participating teachers receive two full days of face-to-face PD, the opportunity to participate in a state-wide showcase day with their students and colleagues, online PD, a professional learning community and ongoing support as well as school-wide access to Makers Empire’s high quality and intentional 3D resources including 3D modelling software and lesson plans. Such a course usually costs between $5,000 – $7,500, depending on the number of face-to-face days.

Q: Is there a cost to schools to participate?
A: This program has been designed as a three-way partnership between DECD SA, Makers Empire and the participating schools. There is no fee to participate in the program, however, schools do need to cover the cost of relief teachers to cover participating staff for the two days of face-to-face professional learning days.

Q: How are applications assessed?
A:  Schools have to address selection criteria in their applications about their STEM strategy and how they will build whole school capacity.

Q: Do you need to have a 3D printer to participate?
A: No. The focus of the project is on design thinking, critical and creative thinking and maker based pedagogy using 3D design as the tool. Schools do not need a 3D printer to participate, however, having access to a 3D printer is desirable. For example, schools without a 3D printer can use a 3D printing service to supply 3D prints on an as-needs basis. Makers Empire does offer its schools an economical 3D printing bureau service.

Q: If we want to buy a 3D printer(s), what would you recommend for schools?
A: Currently, for schools starting out we recommend the Tiertime Up Mini 2 – it includes air filtration, is very reliable and all parts are fully enclosed. If you are creating a Makerspace, a designated STEM space or have a larger project budget, you may wish to purchase more than one 3D printer — e.g. 3 x Up Mini 2s — or a larger printer like the Cubicon Single Plus 3DP-310F. Again, this printer is very reliable, includes air filtration and is also fully enclosed. Makers Empire does offer 3D printer packages for schools. Please note that we only sell equipment that we have bought, personally tested, use regularly and recommend for schools.

Q: How much does it cost to continue using Makers Empire after the program?
A: Schools that wish to keep using Makers Empire in the classroom after the course can purchase a subscription to the Makers Empire 3D Learning Program, which is a different program to the above Makers Empire Learning by Design course. The Makers Empire 3D Learning Program subscription includes school-wide access to curriculum-aligned lesson plans, easy to use Makers Empire 3D software, 4 hours of online professional learning and ongoing support and teacher’s dashboard. The first year subscription to the Makers Empire 3D Learning program is $2,499 (this is included in the above Makers Empire Learning by Design course) with annual subscription renewing at $1,999. So the cost per year for school-wide access would be $1,999.

Register your interest

Expressions of interest close on 29 November 2017 so don’t delay. To register your interest in this project, please visit the DECD SA website.

Last year’s Project

3D Printing in Primary Schools 2017

In Australia’s first large-scale rollout, 50 South Australian primary schools took part in a joint initiative between Makers Empire, the South Australian Department for Education and Child Development (DECD)  and public schools to engage students in STEM using 3D technology.

With professional learning support from Makers Empire and using Makers Empire’s 3D software, teachers from each school learned how to use 3D technology to develop students’ critical, creative, design thinking and STEM skills.

Testimonials from teachers

“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 change makers. 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!”

“Makers Empire is friendly towards all ability groups and help engage students who are less motivated to be working in the classroom. It gives students the opportunity to be creative and learn by trial and error in a digital format. On paper some students get disheartened when drawing designs and have to erase mistakes and makes their work look messy. Using this program it is simple to remove mistakes. I think this has been a fantastic tool to have in the classroom. I have many teacher friends and have actually shown them the program and they are all very impressed.”

“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 6 3D printing projects this term!”

“I would like to say thank you to the team. It has been a wonderful opportunity to be involved in this project and something my students have learnt a lot from. The support along the way has been very helpful and prompt, and that has made working with technology (which can be frustrating) more pleasurable.”

“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. We could have taught children how to design an iPad stand, learn what makes a structure strong, what are strong ‘shapes’, how to keep an item balanced etc etc etc – but 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.”

Watch videos made by teachers