I am a Principal Lecturer in Animal Ecology at Liverpool John Moores University, where I’ve taught for 28 years and am involved with a diverse range of projects and initiatives promoting Maker Education and hands-on STEAM learning at Universities, schools and in research. CREATE Education have been supporting our outreach at various events for over 4 years and their support has been invaluable. They presented specialist CPD at the Edge Hill University MakerNoise conference to 100 teachers on using 3D printing in lessons earlier this year and have showcased innovative projects and workshops at our festival “Liverpool Makefest” to over 5000 people annually. They are a long standing partner in running community based events and lie at the heart of the maker educator community. The impact of the network of educators and support CREATE has developed has been instrumental in developing frameworks in which 3D printing can be used to improve scientific literacy, developing and extending “STEM” learning to include real physical objects that enthuse and make a noticeable difference to teaching and learning at all levels of education. The technical and pedagogical support they offer is outstanding and they are, in my view, the ‘go to’ people in the UK for all things 3D printing.
The support CREATE Education have given in enabling our whole school digital pathway to embedded key industry 4.0 skills across the school has been vast. We are the first school makerspace in the UK developing educational research and delivering a makerspace curriculum into our lessons. This has been a breakthrough year for Penketh High School, of which CREATE Education has been a major partner. Such to the extent that their technical support and understanding of pedagogical practice was a key component to me personally winning a TES award this year. Supporting with free specialist CPD sessions, providing 3D printers, resources, paying for delivery costs, developing lessons, giving our students chance to build a 3D printer and even opening my school makerspace!
Our school makerspace now delivers the “digital upskilling pathway” to all students to provide diverse, rich learning environments in which the creativity of the student can flourish. This would not have been possible without the support of CREATE. They are developing skills with 3D printing and computing which has made an impact on our whole 1060 students. Evolving skills used in GCSE coursework and exams to impact our Progress 8. The noticeable difference to our teachers in confidence to deliver key aspects of D&T, Computing and Science. All of which have ran projects using the 3D printer and skills provided for by CREATE Education.
I just wanted to say what a fantastic day that we have had at the TCT show. Since getting back on the coach all the pupils have not stopped talking about what they have done and seen. The pupils and myself have really enjoyed this amazing opportunity. Everything was designed to the right level for the age group and the staff that where in support helped to make the event run smoothly as possible.
We started the day with a lesson on 3D design using Autodesk. The challenge had good clear instructions and considering we do not use Fusion yet, pupils picked it up fairly quickly. The support staff from Autodesk and the teachers that where there to help, communicated clearly and showed great levels of support to my pupils. We then did a tour around the exhibits and the pupils where fascinated and privileged to have the opportunity to meet so many different companies in one place. Everyone within the show was extremely welcoming and friendly. After we returned to listen to a talk about the different types of printing types and the types of objects that can be made to benefit other people. This was a very informative and relevant to pupils within the curriculum that they are currently studying and linked to the GCSE syllabus.
All pupils and myself have fully enjoyed today and I know that a lot of work has been put into making this happen. Please forward this on to the team and pass on my thanks for creating an unforgettable experience and engaging experience that I am sure my pupils will remember as a highlight for years to come.
The CREATE Education Project has been a positive experience. Having the 3D printer has shown us how to enhance and enrich our Design Technology and overall Computing provision at our school. The support I have received from the CREATE Education team have been great and have really helped with any teething problems I had in the initial few days of printing. I have highly recommended the loan scheme to all the schools I am supporting in our local network and we very much look forward to owning our own printer and delving deep into its many capabilities!
I would like to say a big thank you to Sonya for increasing my enthusiasm in 3D printing at a recent event at Renishaw and also to Michelle for a very fast, efficient and helpful service during our recent purchase.
CREATE Education has allowed us to overcome challenges, reach goals and achieve dreams that would not have been possible without their continuous help and support!
The technology of 3D printing makes higher marking bands accessible for learners. It enables learners to utilise another process of manufacturing their designs. Due to the ease in which the machines operate, learners can independently design on many CAD platforms and print their own ideas.
Sonya’s session is really inspiring and I came away with lots of ideas of how the Ultimaker could be used in school. Sonya provides lots of information, not just about how to design and use the printer, but also how to download pre-designed objects that can be printed for use in schools with a range of topics across the curriculum. This is the second time I have done a workshop with Sonya. I was so inspired after the first time that I booked her to come to work with my iTechno Club at Green Park Primary. The children loved the Algorithm Art session & were so excited to see a 3D printer in action!
On Tuesday 13th June some people from Ultimaker and CREATE Education in Manchester came to teach us about 3D printers. As well as making our own things we saw some other creations: a castle; a shark; a boat; and even an artificial hand.
All of us really enjoyed having the people come in and help us. They even taught us how to use a new software called Beetle Blocks, which we used to made mandalas. It was quite tricky to get all the right coding, but after a bit of time all of us achieved a beautiful mandala each one was one of a kind. Some people made extraordinary designs.
Here are some quotes about the day:
- I enjoyed the fun activities which tested our knowledge of the sites for 3 dimensional printing and the easy way how they taught us how to use the different programmes.
- I am more confident with the basic skills of 3 dimensional printing and have learnt how to upload multiple objects into one project.
- We have learnt to print and make things on Beetle Blocks.
- We enjoyed learning about 3D printers and how they work.
Even the teachers learnt something; Miss Shelmerdine found out how to print more than one thing at a time. So all in all we had a very good day.
As usual the Ultimaker 2 printed flawlessly.
I have been pushing the capabilities of our new Ultimaker 3, how it is industry standard and very ‘current’ , right up there. How it produces great work, how the students love it and are queuing to use it etc.
It captivates parents and students alike on open evenings and employers also raise an eyebrow, it is impressive and impresses all.
In a word… awesome! Since we took ownership of or Ultimaker 2 (3 years ago), the 3D printer at Sacred Heart has grabbed the interest of lots of students, we display it in a central part of school and we regularly have a group of students huddled around it discussing what it may be printing next or handling previous prints – amazed at the intricacy of the designs and what they could design when they next have the chance to use it. Our Ultimaker 2, 3D printer has made its mark mainly in design technology lessons, but has been integrated into computing, English and even RE!
We chose the Ultimaker brand of 3D printers, as they stood out as the most user friendly and reliable brands available, having tested others previously. The software that comes bundled with the printer – Cura – is easy to use and once downloaded to the computer you can be only a few clicks away from printing your design. 3D print designing is also easy, using free to download Tinkercad software, which our Year 6 pupils mastered in a couple of sessions, again not forgetting the Cura software which allows you to create 3D printable files from black and white images – we even want to get Reception involved in printing their own designs using this.
We have a lot of Primary school staff visit our school, and they are amazed that we have a 3D printer, but I tell them I am amazed that they don’t have one as the benefits to students of designing a model and then watching that design be built in front of their eyes using the 3D printer have a profound effect on the students. Pupils are able to produce prototypes and then revaluate these designs appropriately – producing an iterative design that is truly high quality and one they are extremely proud of.