The UK may soon have a recognised number one teacher of 3D printing. Philip Cotton is aged a mere 31, young enough to make me feel old. Ish. By the way, it’s my birthday soon! I think 3DPI should have a birthday themed 3D printing competition. Are you with me on that? 3D printed birthday cakes will win, doubtless. Oh yes, where were we? Mr. Cotton. He is the only teacher among the companies and businesses to be nominated for the 3D Printshow Educational Excellence Award.
Mr. Cotton teaches design and technology at Ladybridge High School, in Deane, UK. Phillip has taken the wise step of introducing the UK’s official favourite ‘gadget’ – according a Gadget Show Live Poll 31% of the UK’s gadget inclined are inclined towards 3D printers as their gadget of 2013 – into his classroom to help pupils improve their technology skills and job prospects.
He said: “It would mean everything if I won — it would be one of the highlights of my career. The school is behind me, all the teachers have voted for me. The fact I’ve been nominated shows how far 3D printing has come. 3D printing is the future of technology. You’re creating a project there and then, it’s mesmerising. In 10 years, most households will have a 3D printer.”
As part of their GCSE design and technology projects, pupils at Ladybridge have used 3D printers to design and develop a full working prototype of a lamp. In his preparation, Mr Cotton taught lessons on Computer Aided Design (CAD), to empower youngsters to create the models they needed to 3D print.
For more recent reports from the realm of education, check out Mike’s pertinent article on the Technology Outlook for STEM+ Education 2013-2018: An NMC Horizon Project Sector Analysis” report here.
And, interesting insight into what it is like to teach 3D printing in schools can be found in our interview with the omni-talented Dana Foster, who also happens to be the Marketing Manager at rapid prototype and manufacturing (rp+m) here.
Voting for the 3D Printshow Excellence Award closes on Thursday, October 31. Mr Cotton will find out if he has won on November 7. To vote, visit the 3D Printshow website and go to the Awards section. Whilst there be sure to drop by the Best Business Newcomer award section where 3D Printing Industry, your sometimes-favourite specialist technology publication is up for the award among stiff competition in an awesome year for 3D printing.