The Faculty of Education at Edge Hill University are at the forefront of preparing their trainee teachers for the use of the latest technologies in schools. This includes the use of 3D printing technology as a tool to engage students in the curriculum and inspire students into future STEAM careers. Much of this work is lead by CREATE Ambassador Carl Simmons.

In Spring 2020 CREATE Education delivered a full day training session on 3D printing to a group of 30 Primary trainee teachers as part of the CREATE Certified 3D Educator Program. Following the training, the students prepared a project or lesson linked to the curriculum, suitable for delivery to a group of Primary pupils. A 3D printer loan was available to all the students from CREATE Education to allow them to deliver their project to a class of pupils at a local school on their next teaching practice.

In this blog we would like to share two examples to illustrate the success of this program.

Ashleigh Hopkins developed and delivered and shared her resources for a 3D Printed Banksy Street Art Project.

Charlotte Mooney developed and delivered the Christmas decorations project below and received some great feedback from both the school staff and the students.

More feedback from the Year 4 teachers and pupils include:

  • ‘I want to get one for my class, it looks great!’ – Year 4 teacher
  • ‘I learnt that I have to do the text big so I can read it when the printer has printed it’ – child
  • ‘Can you bring the 3D printer back so I can print more?’ – child
  • ‘I didn’t get how it was going to print my picture in 3D but it was cool’ – child
  • ‘The arm is really cool because it makes that noise’ – child

The students who took part in the program were all eligible to receive the Bronze 3D Educator Certification and some students who went on to complete a project as part of their teaching practice also received the Silver 3D Practitioner certification, providing them with an additional certified skill set to showcase on their CV’s and in subsequent teaching job applications.

Talking about the success of the project, Susan Harrop, the Year 2 Primary Initial Teacher Training Lead at Edge Hill University said:  “It has been an energising experience for the children and settings, and it has given the students’ confidence in their leadership skills.”

Carl Simmons, the Project Lead and Senior Computing Lecturer added: “The response from students has been phenomenal – we had to limit numbers to 30, but I am sure we could have repeated the project five times over. It was great to see trainee teachers like Charlotte develop their initial ideas alongside Sonya from CREATE Education into fully fledged classroom experiences and the quotes from children in school just demonstrate the appetite out there to learn more about engineering and new technology. It’s a perfect example of memorable learning that makes an impact.”

In The Classroom

The benefits of this programme are multiple, firstly through the 1 day CPD workshop, trainee teachers get the opportunity to learn new skills in using technology that they can then take into the classroom, both during their teaching practice and in their future career. Trainees taking part in the program benefit from additional experience, skills and certification through the CREATE Certified Educator Program, this provides them with an advantage when applying for and securing future teaching jobs.

For Higher Education Institutions offering Initial Teacher Training Courses, the benefit of a project such as this is that they are equipping their trainee teachers with skills in the latest software and technologies. Also by bringing this technology into their partner schools through the CREATE Education loan scheme, they can offer something extra to their partner schools and potential partner schools.

But most of all, by upskilling the next generation of teachers in this way, the technology will be adopted in schools more rapidly leading to more students benefitting from developing their own skills with the technology opening up future career pathways within engineering, manufacturing, technology and other sectors.

Please get in touch to learn more about the CREATE Certified 3D Educator Program and discuss how CREATE Education could work with your organisation to set up a similar partnership project.

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