Recently, 55 teachers and 150 students from 14 schools in NSW, Australia, came together to showcase the learning they achieved as part of Makers Empire’s Maker Pedagogy Network Project (MPNP).

Following a successful pilot in 2018 with Carlingford West Public School, Parramatta East Public School and Oatlands Public School, the MPNP was designed to develop sustainable and scalable models of professional learning that lead to effective implementation of maker pedagogies, STEM learning outcomes and improvement in students’ critical, creative and Design Thinking abilities.

NSW schools who took part in the MPNP were: Broke Public School, Carlingford Public School, Colyton Public School, Forestville Public School, Jasper Road Public School, Kent Road Public School, Leumeah Public School, North Kellyville Public School, North Rocks Public School, Nulkaba Public School, Riverbank Public School, Carlingford West, Oaklands Public School and Rosehill Public School.

Teachers from Carlingford West and Oaklands Public School, who took part in the 2018 pilot, also helped by delivering professional development to their teaching colleagues as part of the MPNP.

The recent showcase day was a wonderful celebration of learning. Each school set up a display to showcase their 3D printing projects and then people toured the displays to learn about the different projects. It was wonderful seeing the primary school students explain their projects confidently and articulately.

Two schools displayed exceptional learning and won 3D printers for their excellent projects and showcase displays:

  • Showcase Award – Colyton Public School
  • People’s Choice Award – Leumeah Public School

Congratulations to all the participating schools!

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Background to the Maker Pedagogy Network Project

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 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 research study 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.

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Learning Outcomes for Students and Teachers

The MPNP works towards the goals of the National STEM School Education Strategy 2016-2026 by engaging students in exciting, challenging STEM learning that is connected to their real-world experiences; helping teachers to develop pedagogical approaches that enable students to combine STEM knowledge with critical, creative and design thinking; and building teacher capacity as mentors in their own and other sites.

To achieve this, over term one and two in 2019, MPNP participants undertook Makers Empire’s popular Learning by Design course.

Students participating in the Maker Pedagogy Network Project:

  • Addressed the new NSW Science and Technology K-6 Syllabus with a particular focus on Design and Production.
  • Developed their creativity and important critical thinking, Design Thinking and digital skills.
  • Learnt how to solve real-world problems with Design Thinking.

Teachers participating in the Maker Pedagogy Network Project:

  • Completed full days of professional development including 20+ hours of NESA accredited professional development at the Proficient Teacher level.
  • Developed pedagogical approaches that enable students to develop deep technological knowledge as well as critical, creative and Design Thinking skills.
  • Were 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.
  • Activated the potential of 3D technologies to develop and enhance students’ 21st-century learning skills.
  • Became more comfortable with technology and more collaborative and flexible in their teaching.

Future Maker Pedagogy Network Projects

Learn more about the Maker Pedagogy Network Project. If you are interested in being part of a future Maker Pedagogy Network Project please email Mandi at mandi[at]makersempire.com

Makers Empire: Better learning by design

Makers Empire helps K-8 teachers teach Design Thinking, STEM and 21st-century learning skills using 3D printing. Our pioneering 3D solutions for schools include 3D modelling software, over 150 lesson plans aligned with international standards and professional development. With Makers Empire, engaged students learn how to solve real-world problems and make their world better.