A 3D Printer Programme, run in partnership between Fife Council’s Culture of Enterprise Programme and Fife College, has been expanded to encourage the development of digital and creative skills amongst the region’s young people.
Demand for the course has doubled since last year, with thirty-six primary schools now registered to take part. The 16 high-tech 3D printers procured by Fife College and Fife Council Economic Development will be shared amongst the schools.
Each school will have a loan period of 16 weeks for the 3D printers, allowing plenty of time for the teachers to cover a range of lesson material created by Fife College. Local business Peachy Keen has also supported the programme, developing video content to showcase the possibilities that can be achieved with a 3D printer.
The pupils taking part are all in primary five to seven from schools across Fife, including Leslie Primary, Carnegie, Inverkeithing, Kettle Primary, St Pauls and Kinghorn Primary, and it is expected that by the end of the programme students will have conceptualised, visualised and developed a product.
The 3D Printer Programme has been established by Fife College and Fife Council Economic Development as the partnership recognises the importance of the technological device as an educational tool to complement the curriculum.
Rebecca Blyth, Academic and Quality Manager in the Computing and Technologies Department at Fife College, said:
“We’re so pleased to see pupils enjoying the 3D printing course for a second year. Our course allows students to learn how to make their own creations, from drawing and modelling all the way through to printing their own 3D creation.
“Technology is changing the way we live and work, and techniques such as 3D modelling and printing will no doubt be a key part of many jobs in the future.
“A whole host of different industries are already using it, and we wanted to provide children across Fife the opportunity to understand more about this technology and how to use it. We have partnered with some local business who use 3D printers, to provide short video clips to pupils on how this technology links with industry.
“At Fife College we understand how important STEM skills will be to our economy. It is fundamental we help inspire youngsters into learning more about this area."
Pamela Stevenson, Service Manager, Fife Council Economic Development, said:
“3D printers are an important and useful educational tool and so, through this programme we are trying to encourage students – some of whom will be the region’s future designers and engineers – to create designs from initial concept, right through to the final product.
"Bringing designs to life through 3D printers, will generate excitement amongst the young people, but importantly, it also creates an understanding of the design process, can be used by teachers to complement the curriculum, encourages creativity, and opens doors to new possibilities of learning, whilst also helping with real-time problem-solving.
“To support the programme and ensure the P5-P7 pupils can learn and benefit from the technology as best they can, Fife College has created a range of lesson materials for participating schools and teachers. This, combined with video content from Peachy Keen is vital to ensure we can inspire, develop and encourage our young people to realise their ambitions."
Currently, 3D printers have been distributed to the following schools: Leslie Primary; Auchertool Primary; Carnegie; St Agatha’s RC Primary School; St Serf’s RC Primary; Kinghorn Primary School; Inverkeithing Primary; Denend Primary; Kettle Primary School; St Pauls RC Primary; Dairsie Primary School; Crossgates and Pittencrieff Primaries.