"Participation in the project is a learning experience not to be missed. Your students will learn from you and you will learn from them. Collaboration, communication, creativity and problem-solving skills will be enhanced as you progress through the design thinking process with space in mind."
"The Makers Empire - Andy Thomas Foundation Kids in Space Project was a comprehensive learning experience for both staff and students. Firstly building teachers' knowledge with quality PD on space and Makers Empire enabled teachers to confidently teach the students. The students were highly engaged in the learning, empowered to problem solve and be creative to solve space issues whilst developing their skills on Makers Empire. The showcase event with other schools around the state was a highlight. I would highly recommend this project for schools to participate in."
"My year 4 students are doing the Sustainable Communities challenge and loving it. My year 2s are doing the Water Challenge and loving it! Just wanted to pass on thanks from the team and I for your fabulous resources!"
"Makers Empire is a fantastic project that provides multiple benefits to students, teachers and schools. One of the most amazing things I saw was a non-verbal (by choice) student in year five, (being) involved in multiple, on-task conversations and actively involved in the problem-solving process. This student now says hello to me every day."
“Learning the ins and outs of new technologies can be a daunting task that many teachers simply do not have time for. Thankfully, teachers don’t need to be experts to get the ball rolling with Makers Empire. A key strength is that so much learning is built right into the platform. Students progress through tutorials at their own pace, with written and spoken instructions there to guide them. My students think they’re just playing a computer game when they use Makers Empire, but from a teacher’s perspective, I see them developing vital spatial skills, persistence and confidence while experiencing how technology can enable them to become problem solvers of the future. Makers Empire has resulted in one of the smoothest introductions of new technologies at our school. It is accessible for a range of ages and abilities, it is a versatile tool that can be applied for many purposes and the Makers Empire team has been there to support us through whatever hurdle we’ve encountered along our journey.”
"Just wanted to touch base and say thank you on behalf of Haden SS for the PD days. Skye has returned extremely satisfied with the experience and has commented on how useful the program will be in the future for her."
"I have a new role at the school this year and that is the STEAM specialist... I would love to have all the children using Makers Empire and printing in Semester 2 this year. Our Year 4 and 5 students loved the program last year and I am really excited to have all students using this space this year."
Hi Mandi, I just wanted to express my sincere thanks for all the lengths you and the Makers Empire teams went to, to run the pilot program and the PD sessions. I found the activities and sequence very engaging. Although I am now at a different school I found a lot I could incorporate into my current location. With all the setbacks we had in getting the PD sessions to happen I am so glad you persisted.
Thanks to the Makers Empire team for creating such a wonderful two days for the teachers from our school and others in the region. We are looking forward to steaming ahead with the Makers Empire project and what it might bring to our classrooms for all students.
"This AR feature is wonderful. You guys never stop bringing new content in to keep kids engaged and keep the software fresh and I have to say I was hoping this feature would become available. It brings their models to life and AR is making its way into design and engineering in a big way so it is great for kids to use this tech in school. My students also realised new designs that could utilise the AR feature better like designing space ship cockpit that you could pretend to be in or even the interior of a house."
"First, can I say how very much I, and my students, have loved using Makers Empire – it’s THE best program I have ever used! I loved your lesson plans, the continuous new ideas and innovations to the program but, most of all, your absolutely marvellous support. Every (silly) question or problem has always been sorted quickly and without me feeling embarrassed for having asked in the first place. I really, really am going to miss the excitement on the kids’ faces when their design works and gets printed for them to take home. So a huge THANK YOU to everyone!"
Thank you so much Leading the Additive Manufacturing Project in South-East Queensland in 2021... It has been a privilege to be part of the Project and the Staff and Students at Numinbah Valley State School have learned so much about design using 3D shapes and blocks, problem-solving, teamwork and resilience. Living in a small rural area, our students have limited knowledge of the technological advances in manufacturing in recent years. However, they are now both aware of new technologies, particularly 3D print technology, and inspired to engage with Design Technologies in High School and beyond. In 2022 I plan to continue to use Maker's Empire software to engage the students in Years 1-3 and will encourage students who were in the project this year in Years 4 and 5, to act as mentors."
"I honestly haven't had this big a reaction from our team for any other type of technology I've introduced to the school. Getting teachers to step out of their comfort zones and try new tech has been a major struggle in my STEM role... The Makers Empire interest and conversations amongst staff and students have been spreading from there. The classes who got up and running early even had the benefit of being able to assign home learning tasks during the lockdown. One of the classes I helped set up today is our special needs class. I'm often told, "Our kids can't do that," so I can't wait to hear the feedback from that group in particular. I cannot thank you enough for helping me move the needle with Makers Empire and STEM in general. I'm hopeful that it will help me to continue to gain interest from colleagues with other types of new learning technologies."
"The best part of this project was the professional development. I have been to a lot in my time, but I have never experienced such a wide variety of teaching strategies and activities that engaged everyone. From our teacher heart to yours… thank you 😊 We also loved connecting with all the other schools around the Gold Coast and hope to reconnect in the new year."
"Thanks again for this amazing project that we could be involved in. The kids learnt so much and thoroughly enjoyed the showcase on Tuesday. Thank you for all your hard work in organising it and for the treats we all received. We will definitely be doing so much more with makers empire. I have so many ideas from the other schools at the showcase so we are excited to implement these next year."
"Having a blast with it, thanks! (Makers Empire) is all the rage at school at the moment."
"WOW Mandi! I honestly can't thank you enough for this. You continue to go above and beyond to help us and I appreciate it so much. I actually sent my Principal a message today letting him know this is probably my most favourite PD session I've been to. It is so well organised, resourced and structured. Thank you so much, Mandi!"
"I would like to let you know that I am loving my experience with the app at many levels: students experience, teaching and assessing. This term I work with 10 classes so around 270 students. It was very easy to create classes and it is easy to track my students work."
“The ability to integrate Makers Empire into many curriculum areas is a huge benefit.”
"Makers Empire is an age-appropriate platform for designing and 3D printing.”
“I like that the students manipulate 3-D shapes. This will help them with geometry as they get older. It is a skill that was built by playing with actual objects when I was younger. Many kids are not playing in the same way and we are noticing a deficit in these skills.”
“The biggest benefit of Makers Empire is the ability to set design tasks for the class and giving more children a chance to design and make.”
“Makers Empire is an engaging, easy to use and student-friendly tool that promotes design thinking and creativity amongst my students.”
“I think the students' engagement via the 'training' systems sets them up to be skilled to develop solutions in other learning situations. They also love seeing their designs take physical form, in spite of the challenges in printing. It seems like [Makers Empire] have a good grasp of getting students interested.”
“The product itself combined with the resources and management environment makes it an all in one solution irrespective of your experience or resources.”
“Very easy to navigate and use. User friendly.”
“A supportive curriculum-aligned platform to support the learning of design thinking and 3D printing.”
“The ability to manage classes as a school. The fact that Makers Empire will print for you and provide support. They understand teachers. They have lesson plans and ‘how to’s’ included. An interface designed for students that is primarily student-friendly.”
“[Makers Empire] is an easy and accessible way to get teachers to use their 3D printers and help students, even the littlest ones to design for the 3D printer.”
“A good way to get all students K-6 into understanding design, and the 3D platform in order to generate their design. Also the students like the idea of earning coin and purchasing elements for their hero. Students are very engaged. It promotes and consolidates mouse skills and mathematical concepts.”
"A simple 3D modelling program for the early years that is easy for students to use on the IPads."
"The benefit of Maker's Empire is that it provides learning experiences using 3D Printing to enable students to develop their understandings of Design and Digital Technologies across all areas of the School Curriculum."
"I’m loving the assessment option in Makers Empire, especially the bulk assessment – it is so easy and useful and I can personalize it and make it personal or private. What a great feature!.... Also, big thanks to you and the team for the missions. I’ve been using them with the Year 5 and 6 classes and they have really enjoyed them and have enjoyed the chance to be really creative, especially with the Secret Package module."
"This was the first school I had worked in which had an easy to use 3D printer set up with a designated computer attached to it. It was easy to log in to Makers Empire as a teacher and print the student’s designs directly rather than Having to save files to USB’s or send from a classroom and run across to the printer etc. It’s great that 3D printers are becoming more affordable. All our colleagues and classes incorporate 3D printing into at least 1 of their Inquiry or digital tech studies so that the whole school are utilising the 3D printers rather than them collecting dust."
“Most students had minimal prior knowledge to 3D printing (so) all classes started with the ‘Introduction to 3D printing’ (found on the Makers Empire website). I then looked through the lesson library and found the Chocolate Moulds unit of work, which focuses on students learning about measuring volumes and capacity by designing and printing a chocolate mould. I slightly tweaked it as it needed to engage and cater to students from Reception to year 7, and I also wanted to build more empathy with students. So we decided to make chocolate moulds as a Christmas present for a family member. I really enjoyed seeing the variations of designs from students in reception to year 7.”
"When I first looked at this MakeShop project — metal jewellery — other projects were starting to eat into my curriculum time. So I couldn’t find time for it. That’s when I thought, how can we build this into something more while making it realistic for the students? How can I incorporate as many KLAs (Key Learning Areas) into it that I can?... This has been a really good learning opportunity for students – it had more opportunities than I even realised... Students that I had trouble engaging – they surprised me the most. Because it was non-traditional learning, they got up and jumped in... There was one student whose pendant’s design kept getting knocked back (as not being physically suitable for printing) and he was getting really frustrated. When he finally got it right, he said, ‘Mr Drain, thank you so much for pushing me – you have no idea how good I feel right now.'"
"It has been great to have this subscription to deliver STEAM sessions virtually - without it I would not have been able to run my sessions at all. Thanks for sharing this resource."
“Students learnt about spatial awareness, measurement, shape and sharing... They like the creativity they have with the range of different shapes and objects at their disposal. They also like the Game Zone section where they can share their mazes to others... Creating tasks that were relevant to the student’s interests enhanced student engagement. Students even went home and would play mazes. Students were very focused on the task as they had activities that were interest-based... Incorporating Makers Empire into a reading session helped students who lacked confidence reading... Students also improved their ability to work as a team and showed a sense of pride in their work... Our students love using it and I will continue to (use) Makers Empire in all aspects of our learning,”
“Makers Empire… (has) developed a range of learning resources for parents and teachers that you can use for free. Students and families can also download the Makers Empire app for free at home if your school doesn’t already have a subscription. Using the app encourages problem-solving, critical thinking, design-based thinking and develops spatial reasoning in children. It’s ideal for primary school-aged children. (I have used it with Reception to year 7). YOU DO NOT NEED A 3D PRINTER… It’s more about the thinking and design process – and having fun.”
“While it has been madness with the online/face-to-face teaching dramas, I wanted to give feedback on the COVID-19 at home learning tasks – they have been absolutely brilliant. I set a term of tasks, once a week scheduled on Seesaw for St Pats, Yr 2-6. Now that we are back at school I thought I would still use them this term. They have been a massive hit and that actually surprised me. The students DON’T like the massive pre-planning, ideating, etc etc, but just getting down and dirty on a direct task. Some have produced fantastic designs… I am writing to let you know how MASSIVELY successful this approach has been. Short, sharp, 40 min direct task. If you ever want to release some more tasks like this, please do. We are working through the list, once a week, in a 40 min session.”
“I am loving Makers Empire. It has been great and students have been able to do their remote learning with ease.”
“Thank you for all the work you have put into the home learning space. We have a ‘student free’ week starting Monday (with the students of working parents in attendance). This will be a great opportunity to share with staff the online PD.”
“Thank you for your latest wonderful and thoughtful Social Distancing Challenges. I think they are just awesome!! I will most definitely be using them with my students when setting up online lessons at home.”
“These are crazy times we’re now living in and our staff are feeling quite stressed and inundated about the current situation. The free resources you have provided will help to lighten the workload.”
"I don’t think there was one child in the group that didn’t achieve something with it… Also, there was never a problem with them going back and doing something again. If this was a writing project and I asked them, ‘can you go back and redo this?’, the kids would groan. But, if we said, ‘I really like the way you did this but can you go back and try this?’, they would,"
"I liked the way the site is geared toward easy use by teachers and the tutorials help the learner (teacher or student) to be independent and self-driven. The app was easy to download and create accounts in. The multiple entry points available in tasks also differentiates well for teacher. The program engages students with its game-like appearance and improves not only their creativity but critical thinking and collaboration skills. I like the option of having the designs printed off-campus due to time constraints but it is also valuable for students to see the printing process from start to finish. This is an excellent way to create and give back to the community in our Christmas Lights Program. More schools should try it!"
"What I really liked about Makers Empire was that it provided a comprehensive package, and one that can make sense to students from five to fifteen years of age... The real beauty of Makers Empire doesn’t lie in the printers or the software. In my opinion, where the company really shines – and the reason I was so eager to go through it – is in the wealth of curriculum-based lessons it provides, along with a host of lesson plans and a thriving community that contributes to the lesson bank. On top of this, the Makers Empire subscription allows teachers to set up classes and assess designs as they come in. Students have their own accounts (in our case, linked to their Google for Education accounts that we already set up), which are linked to their teacher’s. It is my intention for all students in our school (from Foundation to Year 6) to get the opportunity to use Makers Empire 3D. There are plenty of lessons for all year levels in the library to choose from, as well as ones provided by the community... Makers Empire 3D is not cheap. However, a lot of time and effort has gone into its creation, and I believe the price is well worth it. Not only is it a student-friendly piece of software, but it also contains a wealth of teaching and assessing tools for educators."
I just had a play and I LOVE the changes you’ve made. It will make life much easier and more obvious and visible for the kids (and me too!)."
"I have to commend the recent update to Makers Empire. The precision mode is a great addition, particularly for our older students, who have been loving it already. It’s really nice to use a product that is built around kids and teachers and can evolve with their needs. Thank you for consistently taking and considering our feedback and improving your already great product. I had a class of Receptions and Year ones today. The Year ones were working in ME and the Receptions were chomping at the bit to get in too! We have been loving using the Toy Designer with our younger students, as the access level is just right for them to create unique 3D models from their own imagination, but scaffolded enough for them to easily learn the tools in a lesson. I’m very glad we are using Makers Empire."
"The kids love it and it is a pleasure to teach with. It is easy to use and all the extra activities do a great job at developing the skills necessary to design printable 3d models in a fun, game-like manner. My students continue their learning at home completing challenges and developing new skills. This is the true value of software. It can provide a platform for students who are enthusiastic to keep learning after the school bell rings... The addition of the Australian Curriculum aligned challenges is fantastic and really encourages the use of this software in state schools throughout Australia... Giving feedback to students and rewarding great work is very easy using the assessment tools. I use this feature a lot."
“Before I started with Makers Empire I had no idea how 3D printing worked. I avoided coding and anything to do with the DigiSpace... Definitely, do the PD (professional development) from Makers Empire. It was very clear and helped me put 3D printing into practice… I think it’s wonderful for someone who is a bit fearful… it really helped me develop confidence in it.”
“Redlands has been using Makers Empire to support the students’ creative writing efforts. Students were asked to design a character or an object using the Makers Empire software. After this creative process, students had to justify the design attributes of their character or object in writing. Students became actively involved in the creative process which helped inform their writing process. Makers Empire is a great hook before a writing task.”
"We’ve been using Makers Empire throughout the college and in Technology lessons for a while now, but this was the first time we used it in our classroom with our year 7s. The students thoroughly enjoyed the game-like structure of the program and were keen to work through levels to unlock parts for their designs... when we found the Global Design Program that Makers Empire ran, we were incredibly keen to connect with other schools... The learning that occurred from this project was invaluable and more than just curriculum based. Whilst the students learned about livability from researching and designing parts of a city that adhere to Mercers Quality of Living Factors, they learned about what living and cities are like in China from first-person conversations and experiences – a far deeper intercultural understanding than what they could possibly gain from textbooks and the internet."
“The (3D printing) lesson plans are really good. While they’re designed around the Makers Empire software, they’re actually designed around the design cycle. This is important is that it’s actually saying to kids, here’s a design cycle that has these steps in it: you have a thought, you make a plan, you design it, you print it, you check it, and then you go back and you improve it. It's driving kids to think about the design cycle."
“The kids just fly...The software makes it easy – if the software was more difficult it wouldn’t work as well. It’s at the right level for the reception students but it’s also not too easy for the upper primary kids. It’s a good start-off point... My class will go into another class — junior primary, middle primary or upper primary — and will partner one on one with the other students and help them learn how to use the software... My kids love helping the other students... Just to see the students faces light up during lessons is so good.”
"I have seen numerous benefits from our ‘Nature Play’ project and other 3D printing learning we have undertaken at Blakeview Primary School. During our 3D design lessons on the iPads using Makers Empire, the most significant benefit I have noticed has been the increase in student engagement. I have witnessed an increase in teamwork and positive interactions between students, which involved the sharing of learning and discoveries between groups. Students were able to work together to collaborate on projects and use each other’s varying strengths. They offered guidance and gave each other constructive feedback on what they liked about other designs and gave helpful suggestions for improvement, which promoted the persistence required to perfect their designs. Students also developed their spatial awareness through the ability to transfer and manipulate their 2D design plans and reproduce them into 3D design models... The success and accomplishment that was felt by solving a real-world problem with our ‘Nature Play’ project was incredible. The students that were involved feel a strong connection to the space and are proud of how their small idea and hopes turned into something real that could be enjoyed by the whole school and members of the community."
'I found Makers Empire to be incredibly user-friendly. In particular, it was very “school” friendly. There are very easy processes for children of all ages and literacy levels to log onto their accounts saving so much time and stress... the learning is in the process, not the product. You could very successfully use Makers Empire without ever actually printing anything (but it is a lot more fun and exciting when you can print it!)... All unit plans have direct links to the curriculum including the Digital Technologies curriculum. The deeper I delve into using Makers Empire the more opportunities I see for using maths in an authentic manner, particularly when using the Shaper app with measurements, shapes etc.”
"...wonderful day. I heard a few teachers talking about this being the best professional learning day they have done in their careers! Great job, we are planning to share with the Governing Council and run a parent information night to follow this up."
"Students developed a range of design skills..They learnt what the design process looked like, learnt how to create their designs in Shaper, learnt about scale when printing their designs. Students learnt to measure their objects as well as problem solved to make their design as similar on Makers Empire as their initial design... the students were so engaged and thoroughly enjoyed the learning experience...(Makers Empire) is a wonderful program that engages all students well!"
"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."
"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."
"...our staff were genuinely impressed... The Makers Empire 3D printing iPad app exceeded our expectations. The design and creative elements of this software have been carefully designed to engage children while opening up numerous educational opportunities and learning experiences. We loved the Teacher (Dashboard) with its support, ideas and integration of the Australian Curriculum. A great way to expose our students to this rapidly emerging technology that will have a significant impact on their lives."
"Students have been learning about creating stories and developing characters. The students designed a character on their iPads, which were then printed using the latest 3D printing technology. Together with their buddies from Scotch (College), the students videoed their stories using their 3D characters and backdrops as settings. The narratives that took place between the students as they created their stories were very entertaining."
"We are currently using Makers Empire with the whole of year 5 at the moment and have brought a second 3D printer to keep up!! The Learning Support Platform and its new design looks awesome, the functionality, navigation and amount of information available is excellent. Thanks!"
"This is an exciting initiative which we foresee will enrich the learning experience of Scots boys. The usefulness of the 3D equipment to the students is evident as their visualisations become reality.”
"The teacher resources were comprehensive and supported the easy implementation of the lesson. The Makers Empire 3D design app made sophisticated designing available and accessible to young students. They were totally engaged as they designed their very own 3D Hungry Caterpillar."
Do you use Makers Empire in your school? Share your experience and help inspire your fellow teachers!