3D Printing

Finnish Government Grants Funds for 3D Printing Trial in Schools

Following an earlier report about Olli Nuuttila’s initiative for 3D printing in schools, the tech is gaining more and more traction in Finland. The Finnish Ministry of Education has now granted a total €30,000 fund to support the purchase of 3D printers for selected schools in four Finnish cities: Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Riihimäki.

According to the Chief Inspector of the Ministry of Education, Kimmo Koskinen: ”the education department of Helsinki received €18,000 of the granted funds,  with Vantaa, Espoo and Riihimäki, also part of the trial network, having four schools, which received €3000 each”. The 3D printing trial project for schools in Finland received applications from 26 cities, totalling 64 schools.

Although the grant may seem small in comparison to official investments of the US and UK governments, it represents a significant level of formal acceptance of the technology in a small country with a population of 5 million. Also, it should be noted that the money is coming directly from the Ministry of Education and is specifically aimed at schools, where young children can interact with and learn about 3D printing from a young age.

Juha Kantola and 3D printer
Teacher, Juha Kantola with a 3D printer.

Not all schools made the cut as far as the grant is concerned, but that’s not stopping them either — Järvikylä School, located in a small town of Nivala in Finland, consists of 72 students and four teachers. They didn’t receive funding from the Ministry of Education trial. Instead, the students’ parents raised the money to buy the 3D printer for the School.

The image above shows Juha Kantola, a teacher at Järvikylä School, with their 3D printer. In this case it is printing a key chain designed by 10-year-old student Marjo Kivioja. And this is actually the key (pun intended) – young kids experimenting with design and 3D printing technologies — and loving it. Another student engaging with the technology is young Valtteri Päivävirta, who is working on a flashlight model that his teacher found from a 3D model repository. The file has not yet been 3D printed, because, as Valtteri proudly states, he is customizing the file and ”printing my name on it.”

According to the Principal of Järvikylä School, Elina Jussila, ”3D printing fits well into education because the children are born curious towards new things. Also the creative work increases their self-esteem.”

Source and image credit: HS