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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.
Middle of the school holiday and I found myself in school doing some teaching… Some may say a little bit crazy. But all for good reasons and very exciting.
Ok, so it wasn't like a normal teaching day, this was something a bit special, perhaps I had better explain a bit more fully…
I have found myself involved with a new organisation called “Teach Design” http://www.teachdesign.org.uk who have recently set up to promote and support D&T and STEM. They are partnering with some leading hardware and software companies to provide equipment, training, resources etc to schools throughout the country… One of the aims of Teach Design is to set up “Teach Design Tech Centres” (TDTCs), and this is where my involvements starts.
One of the Teach Design partners is 3D Systems who manufacture the Cube and CubeX 3D Printers and as you may realise I have worked closely with 3D Systems for some considerable time. So I suppose I was seen as ideally placed to provide some training in 3D printing to the guys who will soon be running the TDTCs and using 3D Systems machines.
Unfortunately, not everyone from the 10 TDTCs were able to make it down to Clevedon today but we made a start on the training anyway … the meeting/training had been rescheduled from earlier in the week due to a huge storm (hurricane?) that had swept the country. But we still had delegates from as far afield as Wales and Derbyshire.
And as for the training… As you can see from the pictures everyone was shown how to set up and print with both Cube and CubeX machines ready to set up in their own school. And at this point I must thank Iain and Aaron from 3DS for their help in doing this. And as an aside, it was a bit of a proud moment for me to see Aaron who is an ex-student of mine teaching and supporting other teachers!
3D printing has had to take a bit of a back seat for a few weeks 😦
I have been very busy with setting up a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) Challenge for our year 9 students during my school's Activities Week. It was the first STEM activity at my school and was hugely successful. Check out the blog here http://clevedonstem.wordpress.com
Anyway back to the 3D printing…. In preparation for next year I'm going to look at using Raspberry Pi for some more advanced “Systems and Control”. But to stand up to use in the classroom/workshop the board will probably need some protection. So, time to print a case.
I've printed similar things before using our 3D Touch printer but thought I would give it a go using the Cubify Cube instead.
And here are the results… I'm hugely impressed with the quality of the flat surfaces and even more impressive is that this print will require absolutely no post processing, sanding or finishing! These pictures are of the parts straight off the machine.
At my school we run termly (6 times a year) Learning Hub meetings. These allow teachers from Clevedon and Gordano schools to learn new things about teaching and learning and share ideas.
This evening was my turn to host a Hub meeting. Not only were there teachers from the usual two schools but we were also joined by teachers from Nailsea School's D&T department. And of course the theme was about 3D printing.
We were also lucky enough to have Iain Major from 3D Systems come along to help out.
The session started with a presentation about 3D printing both in school and how it is related to what is happening in industry, fashion, medicine etc. The delegates then created their own designs using the Cubify web apps…. And of course then had the opportunity to print these using Cube printers.
The session that started at 4pm was due to finish at 5.15pm, but the last people left well after 7pm…. I think they enjoyed it and were captivated by the technology!
And here is a video taken from the presentation.
Before finishing this post I must thank the 10+ visitors from Gordano and Nailsea Schools and of course staff from my own department who stayed too. And also a huge thank you to Iain Major from 3D Systems for bringing along another Cube 3D Printer, joining in the conversations and helping most of the delegates with printing their designs created using the Cubify Web apps.
In a couple of weeks time I am going to run a STEM day for some of our year 8 students. The day is intended to be a pilot for another STEM day later in the year for the whole of year 9.
During the pilot project we are intending to set the students a “team challenge”… To design and make a rocket powered model car, measure the average speed along a course (they will have to work out how to do that themselves!), do a mini research project, and make a presentation to the whole group.
Of course it's likely that Bloodhound SSC will crop up sometime during the day… So I thought I would see if I could 3D print a model of the Bloodhound car using a Cube 3D printer.
Here are the models I produced… One about 60mm long and the larger one 115mm.
… Wonder if showing the students this will inspire any of them to use 3D printed parts in the design of their rocket powered cars?