To enthuse and motivate pupils in their science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) learning, global engineering company Renishaw has run a series of workshops for year six pupils at Llwynypia School in Tonypandy, South Wales. The company also involved parents and offered dedicated training to teaching staff to develop knowledge and confidence in teaching 3D printing technology.
The project began with a twilight training session for Llwynypia School teaching staff to introduce them to 3D printers for classroom or after school club use. Renishaw then visited the school to deliver a 3D printing workshop for year six pupils, where they designed and made 3D printed keyrings.
In a subsequent visit, the pupils were invited to Renishaw’s Miskin site for workshops on electronic circuits and friction and forces, counting towards the British Science Association’s Crest Award. Pupils and their parents were invited back for a tour, an Introduction to Engineering workshop and the presentation of the Science Crest Awards. Attendees built small LED torches, which they were able to take home.
“During the visits, we introduced the children and their parents to the world of engineering and 3D printing,” explained Simon Biggs, Education Outreach Officer at Renishaw. “We encourage them to consider careers they had not been introduced to previously and engage in planning, designing and making 3D models in line with their class topic.
“National research has uncovered that a lack of pupils on free school meals go on to pursue careers in engineering,” continued Biggs. “There is also a considerable underrepresentation of women in engineering careers. It can be challenging for schools to deliver engaging opportunities to these groups if resources are limited. Renishaw is working with local teachers and children to contextualise and bring STEM learning to life.”
“Working with Renishaw has benefitted both pupils and staff,” explained Beth Weekes, Teacher at Llwynypia School. “We are a small school, with a limited budget, so working with Renishaw has allowed us access to the equipment and training needed to plan rich, hands-on learning experiences for the children.
“We had a fantastic day visiting the Renishaw site, our pupils were able to see local industry and understand the employment opportunities for the future. The children now have an insight into the world of work, understand the myths around engineering and are empowered to use technology in a hands-on environment. I can’t recommend it highly enough!”
The project was arranged by Just Add Spice, an organisation which offers time credits for taking part in activities in their communities. Contributions are rewarded with credits that can be used to attend events, training or leisure activities. The pupils and parents who attended the final workshop obtained a time credit each for participating.
For more information visit http://www.renishaw.com/en/education-outreach.