Making a STEM Ambassador impression at St Andrew’s primary with 3D printing

Issued: Fri, 19 Aug 2016 13:52:00 BST

DYW Ayrshire was approached by Martyn Hendry, STEM Coordinator at East Ayrshire Council, looking for employer support with a new project at Saint Andrew’s Primary, Kilmarnock.

East Ayrshire Council has a number of 3D printers within their Primary Schools and wished to run a related to project with their P6’s.

Saint Andrew’s Primary are keen to engage and embrace the local community and business world. They want to offer young children opportunities to engage with a variety of employers to identify options that will be available to them in later life. They believe that it is better to provide information to parents and children at as early a stage as possible.

Pupils have recently been developing their computer skills for a number of months and were introduced to ‘Tinkercad’ a computer software 

program specifically for children. The 3D printer has become an important feature in the classroom and various items have been printed from this.

The school wanted to run a session specifically for pupils and parents. This is common practice at St Andrew’s and is known as ‘Sharing and Learning’. Martyn Hendry believed that employer engagement was vital at this session to encourage parents to consider a career within the digital technology sector for their children.

DYW Ayrshire secured STEM Ambassador Malachy Ryan of Alan White Design, an experienced Civil Engineer. Malachy has a wealth of experience using CAD and was therefore an ideal representative for the project.

He spoke about his particular career route and how he utilised digital technology. Pupils were fascinated that Malachy had worked on the building of their primary school as a graduate engineer and with various celebrities on equipment for their concerts. Malachy also brought along some items from his company and was able to answer questions.

Pupils were then paired with their parents at a computer and were given a worksheet containing specifications to design a keyring which would be printed on a 3D printer. This was a great opportunity for Malachy to rotate around the room and provide his expertise on an individual basis. It was a very enjoyable afternoon for all involved and opened the eyes of pupils and parents to the role of an engineer.

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