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3D printing comes to Australian school kids

21 May 2015

Students from three secondary schools from Western Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria have experienced the cutting-edge of design technology thanks to a project delivered by Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Science Karen Andrews said “This Questacon project has given 46 lucky students a first-hand look at an emerging technology that has the potential to revolutionise manufacturing worldwide,” Mrs Andrews said.

“I commend schools right across Australia that are embracing 3D design and printing in classrooms – I was recently at Ironside State School in St Lucia, Queensland, and was amazed by the 3D printers the kids were using every day to complement their STEM based subjects.

“Along with valuable practical experience, students have honed their problem solving and design thinking skills.

“These skills are in high demand by employers across a range of industries and will underpin the jobs of the future,” Mrs Andrews said.

Mrs Andrews acknowledged key partner Raytheon Australia for their support in delivering the programme, which is one of a series of programmes supported under a three-year partnership between Questacon and Raytheon Australia.

“This unique initiative is an example of how government and industry can collaborate to bring tangible examples from business and research, and inspire young people to become the innovators of tomorrow.”

The groups were provided with bodies with snap-in sockets and a blueprint ball-joint design to build upon. The teams created heads, arms, legs and even wings for the body to create figurines in 3D.

Mrs Andrews said Questacon’s initiatives are a key part of the delivery of the Government’s broader science agenda, including the development of Australia’s first ever national policy to secure Australia’s skills base in STEM.

“These informal learning opportunities are a vital part of the broader STEM policy we are developing to help secure a highly skilled workforce and cultivate the science literate society that is essential for Australia’s ongoing productivity and prosperity,” Mrs Andrews said.

Media contact: Mrs Andrews' office 02 6277 4360