CREATE Education and Rolls-Royce launch UK’s first Primary Education 3D Printing Hub

The CREATE Education Project, a platform aimed at bringing 3D printing to UK classrooms, has announced the launch of its first Primary Education 3D Printing Hub, in collaboration with leading car and aero-engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce

Wyndham Primary Academy, a school located in Derby, UK, has been revealed as the location of the 3D printing hub, having won a competition run by CREATE Education. The competition required schools to submit an outline for why they should be chosen to become a center of excellence for 3D printing in education. The chosen school is now the proud recipient of CREATE Education’s 3D printing package. 

“We were honoured to partner with Rolls-Royce to find a primary school who deserved to be appointed as the UK’s first primary level CREATE Education Hub,” commented  Michelle Chatterley, Head of CREATE Education. “The task was more difficult than we first thought, with many schools in the selection process really working hard to engage their pupils often in deprived areas in STEAM subjects.” 

“Wyndham was a perfect choice, they share many of our values and have the vision to ensure that through deeper learning all pupils have an equal chance to achieve their dreams.”

Ultimaker 3D printers in classroom. Photo via CREATE Education Project.
Ultimaker 3D printers in classroom. Photo via CREATE Education Project.

The Create Education Project

The Create Education Project was founded by Paul Croft, Director of Ultimaker GB and 3DGBIRE, in 2014. It aims to provide free resources and support to help UK educators introduce and integrate 3D printing into primary, secondary and higher education. Partnering with Ultimaker, these resources include 3D printing hardware, 3D software, training and consumables. In doing so, the program seeks to empower students with a skill set suited for ‘21st Century careers.’ 

Croft spoke with 3D Printing Industry in 2018, where he explained that “The CREATE Education Project was set up to make 3D technologies available to everyone […]  Long-term we believe that by removing the barriers to adoption, including budgets and availability of resources, we will be able to address the skills gap in this country.”

To help further carry out this goal, CREATE Education prepared a package of 3D printing technology to deliver to a school for free. It includes Ultimaker 3D Printers, software, curriculum consultation, curriculum CPD with technical training, and lifetime curriculum and technical support. 

As well as bringing 3D printing to the classroom, the package is also intended to raise the attainment level of a region where education attainment scores are lower than the national average, particularly for disadvantaged children. Therefore, CREATE Education sent out a call to schools in the Derby area, where disadvantaged children leave primary school 11.9 months behind their peers, to put together a pitch outlining why their school should be selected for the prize. The pitch was also required to explain how the technology would be embraced within the school and used in projects in a bid to become a centre of excellence for 3D printing in education.

Wyndham Primary Academy classroom. Photo via Wyndham Primary Academy.

After undergoing the application and selection process, CREATE Education selected Wyndham Primary Academy as the chosen hub. The school has made significant progress over the past eight years, turning from a bottom 200 UK school in terms of performance and attainment in 2011, to achieving World Class School status in 2017. In 2019, the school is now the UK’s first Primary Education 3D printing hub. 

The launch day of the Primary Education 3D Printing Hub took place at Wyndham Primary Academy on Thursday 24 October, and included a ribbon-cutting ceremony with addresses from representatives of Wyndham Primary Academy, Rolls-Royce and The CREATE Education Project. Various 3D printing activities were also undertaken at the ceremony with invitees including runners-up in the competition from Allenton Community Primary School, Gayton Junior School and Richardson Endowed Primary School.

Preparing students for Industry 4.0

Increasingly, 3D printers are finding their way into classrooms through educational initiatives like the CREATE Education Project, aiming to equip young minds with the required skill sets for future careers in Industry 4.0.

Award winning OEM GE Additive is running a five-year Additive Education Program (AEP) where it aims to provide 3D printing technology to primary and secondary schools, including some universities and colleges. Now in its third year, the company explains that it expects to have given over one million students the opportunity to use 3D printing by 2020. 

Auburn University’s National Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence (NCAME) is also providing a scheme to increase the number of students gaining practical experience in industrial 3D printing. In partnership with Huntsville City Schools in Alabama, the new program seeks to enable students in the district to graduate high school with a certificate in additive manufacturing, while also earning college credits for their work.

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Featured image shows Wyndham Primary Academy classroom. Photo via Wyndham Primary Academy.