Yesterday saw me getting up really early (too early for a Saturday!) for a long drive from Clevedon to York for the launch of the Teach Design Tech Centres (TDTC).
To be factually correct it was “launch mkII” as the storm back in October meant that only some of the centres could travel down to Clevedon for the first meeting.
After an introduction from the Teach Design guys we got down to the business of looking at what the centres would be able to provide to local schools…. Including 3D printing with 3D Systems machines, Autodesk Inventor, VEX robotics, Cleapss health and safety and a whole lot more.
…And then a quick introduction to “3D printing in schools” by yours truly and some practical advice on “how to get started” by Iain Major (from 3D Systems) with the Cube and CubeX machines.
Lunch, taken on the hoof, brought the opportunity for some informal networking amongst the team and a sneaky look around the facilities at Steve's school to see what ideas could be “magpied”.
After wrapping up the meeting it was time to pack up and head south on our 3.5hr journey (thanks for the lift Iain!)
Everyone left buzzing with excitement with the great things to come from the 20 TDTCs go online in January 2014 to provide training across the UK ….for teachers, by teachers!
So, if the development of the TDTCs has whetted your apatite for some training in up to date D&T keep an eye on the Teach Design website. http://www.teachdesign.org.uk
Great news announced today…. Check out the 3D Systems press release..
November 20, 2013: Leading 3D printing manufacturer 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) today announced an innovative partnership with Teach Design, a not-for-profit organisation set up to provide very low cost training to UK Design Technology teachers.
Twenty regional Teach Design Tech Centres are being established in secondary schools across the UK and will be equipped with award-winning 3D Systems Cubeand CubeX 3D printers which will be made available for use across the curriculum by both primary and secondary schools.
The move by 3D Systems ensures that teachers will be able to learn how to maximise the use of 3D printers in the classroom, not just in design technology but across all areas of the curriculum. The machines will also be made available to STEMNET ambassadors to promote 3D printing in their voluntary work with children.
3D Systems UK Education Co-ordinator Iain Major said, “This partnership with Teach Design is very exciting as training is the key to ensuring that both staff and students can get the most from this cutting edge technology. 3D printing is a wonderful medium to allow students to understand the processes of designing for production and discover their innovation potential as we live in the time of the circular economy. It is going to be very exciting to see what students come up with.”
Teach Design’s co-founder Phil Holton said “We are delighted with the generous donation of these fabulous machines. We plan to train thousands of teachers in the use of the Cube and CubeX printers to get the most from using them in class. We will also be publishing lots of project resources for teachers to use with their students.”
Learn more about 3D Systems commitment to education today.
On Friday I was given the opportunity to run a workshop for the North Somerset Learning Exchange… A primary school conference called Building on Making Learning Irresistible. My workshop was primarily to look at the implications of the new national curriculum for Design and Technology.
The first part of the workshop involved a presentation and discussion “unpicking” the key parts of the document and looking at how schools might change the activities they do with their children in the context of their school.
The second part was “hands on” with some of the newer technologies, 3D Printing, Robotics and programming, and CAD/CAM.
The conference happened to be taking place on the BBC “Children in Need” day. So the mascot Pudsey Bear inevitably made a few appearances.
Before finishing this post I must thank a few people for helping out with the organisation, loan of equipment and inspiration for the workshop…. Clevedon School Learning Hub, North Somerset Learning Exchange and Teach Design for all the organisation and admin. 3D Systems for providing the Cube 3D printer, Roland DG for providing the vinyl cutters, VEX Robotics for the loan of the VEX IQ Clawbot.