Department for Education: 3D printing in Physics, Maths and D&T.
Up before 5am and boarding a train to London at the sort of time I would normally be stirring myself to get out of bed… All a bit keen really!… And the sort of thing that I normally have to have a good reason to do. And the good reason was that I was asked to do a presentation about 3D printing in schools for the Department for Education (the DfE is our government body in charge of education here in England). I must say that it was a real honour and privilege to be asked to do this.
One of the reasons I was asked to do this was because the DfE is setting up a pilot project to look at how 3D printing can be used in STEM subjects… With special emphasis on the mathematics and physics areas.
If you are a return visitor to my blog then you might realise that I am a D&T teacher at Clevedon School, but I have some experience of developing teaching and learning projects and resources in other subject areas… In fact I’m currently working on some new projects to try out with my own science department very soon (more of this in a later post perhaps)… And that’s why I was asked along to share my previous experiences.
Anyway I think my presentation kicked off the day ok… Some of the delegates even laughed (or raised a smile) at my feeble jokes (yes I do have a very strange sense of humour) … Quite proud really as presenting in the first slot of the day can be difficult, people need to warm to the atmosphere and are often wondering what they have let themselves in for!
But I expect you are wondering where the physics and maths fits in with all this and what the pilot project is all about. I suppose in a nutshell it really boils down to the fact that 3D printing has so far really only been in the domain of designers, technologists and engineers. This project is looking to break out of this and involve mathematics and science. And why not? I have exported some cross curricular links before but this project has really got my mind buzzing with the potential uses for this technology in these areas other areas of the curriculum and there should be more to follow in a later blog post about this.
So, what else happened at the meeting? The other presentation was led by Stuart Douglas from Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy. Stuart’s school is lucky enough to have some very high end 3D printing equipment and he brought a very different perspective to the project. The delegates were given an opportunity to explore what their first steps will be in introducing this technology to these other STEM subjects and Makerbot gave a demonstration of the equipment that is being made available.
I have just got home and its now 9:30pm… Feeling pretty exhausted, but it has been a fantastic day. I would just like to say thank you to the DfE for inviting me along to the day, and my school for letting me attend (and also the teachers who covered my lessons during my absence) and of course 3DS/Bits from Bytes for the support they give me (and my school) which has enabled me to have a bit of a head start in “3D printing in schools”.
Oh, and finally, I hope to publish my presentation a bit later… It’s a bit big to upload at the moment so ill have to do a bit of pruning and editing!
EDIT…. here is the powerpoint… it gives an idea of what my presentation was about, but without the verbal content it may not give the whole story.