Toyota Community Trust Funds STEM, Design Thinking & 3D Tech. for West Melbourne Schools

Makers Empire is delighted to announce that the company has received a $60,000 grant from the Toyota Community Trust to help deliver 3D technology and professional learning to eight schools in Melbourne’s West.

The West Melbourne 3D Printing in Schools Project is designed to develop sustainable and scalable models of professional learning that lead to effective implementation of STEM learning outcomes and improvement in students’ critical, creative and Design Thinking abilities. The eight schools that will be part of this project are, in no particular order:

  1. Catholic Regional College St Albans
  2. Jackson School
  3. St Alban’s Heights Primary School
  4. St Margaret’s Primary School
  5. Exford Primary School
  6. St Therese’s School
  7. Westgrove Primary School
  8. Williamstown Primary School

The West Melbourne 3D Printing in Schools Project 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 the project goals, over term three and four in 2019, project participants will undertake Makers Empire’s Learning by Design course. Makers Empire’s Learning by Design course was recently the focus of a 12-month Macquarie University research study into the impact of maker pedagogies in K-8 settings. The research study report revealed that makerspaces can have compelling learning benefits for both students and teachers.

Makers Empire’s CEO, Jon Soong, said, “we’re thrilled to partner with the Toyota Community Trust to deliver this pioneering program for schools in Melbourne’s West. This program has been proven to be extremely engaging for students and highly effective at developing their creativity, critical thinking, design thinking and digital skills. Plus, solving genuine design challenges helps boost students’ confidence and resilience when dealing with setbacks.”

Mike Rausa, Chairman of the Toyota Community Trust, said, “the future of mobility will be determined by the next generation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) talent. Toyota Australia has played an integral role in Australian communities for more than 50 years and is proud to continue to support young Australians to pursue careers in STEM.”

Inclusions for Participating schools


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


  • 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 for three years


  • 3 x FlashForge Inventor IIs 3D printers
  • 20 rolls of biodegradable PLA filament
  • Hardware training
  • Hardware support
  • Shipping included

Benefits for Participating Schools

Participating teachers will:

  • Have strengthened capacity to teach STEM in ways that connect with young children.
  • Be supported to design innovative learning programs that provide authentic, meaningful contexts for students to engage in STEM learning using 3D design and printing.
  • Develop pedagogical approaches that enable students to develop deep technological knowledge as well as critical, creative and Design Thinking skills.
  • 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.
  • Complete 20+ hours of professional development.

Participating students will:

  • Address Victorian F-10 Curriculum with a particular focus on Design and Technologies
  • Develop a keen interest in STEM as they learn about STEM concepts in a fun and engaging way
  • Learn how to solve real-world STEM problems with Design Thinking.
  • Develop their creativity, important 21st-century learning skills, and digital skills.

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