Locally, we have worked with Matraville High’s gifted and talented school club. Over six weeks the students developed skills in 3D design, 3D printing and electronics to build an LED lamp. A learning-through-making program, the students’ achievements were acknowledged through a graduation, inviting their parents to support and engage with their design work.
Under the same umbrella, we took the Design Tinkers program to Kensington Primary School, working with a large group of students from years 5 and 6. Using the work of Buckminster Fuller as a starting point, the program had three areas of investigation: construction techniques and skills, sustainability, and computer aided design. By working together as a team to build a geodesic dome, students learned to consider the importance of connection when designing. They then applied this to 3D modelling and printing, geometry and sustainability.
Rana Straker, Assistant Principal and teacher of English as an additional language at Kensington Primary School, said that the Design Tinkers program was a really exciting initiative for the school. She commented:
“Students responded really well to the design challenge, not just using software but imagining and creating a tangible outcome and developing an understanding of thinking in 3D”. Part of Kensington Primary’s enrichment program, she reflected that in the time since, the students were making sophisticated connections between 3D design and both the mathematics curriculum, and working with technology.
We see this as a wonderful opportunity to engage with technology not normally available at school, and to use 3D design and printing to further student learning conceptually, and link it to the design process, but also to push students to develop critical and creative thinking.”
Straker commented that the amazing team at MCIC had inspired them to partner and further the relationship with developing a scaleable teach the teacher program that aligns with primary school curriculum.