I announced earlier that I'd be using my I'm A Scientist prize fund to donate a 3D printer to a local school, and the response so far has been really positive. I got in contact with the super generous team at Ultimaker who loved the idea and offered to help part-fund the project. In fact, they were so keen to help they even offered a free one month loan printer as a second place prize for another school! Ultimaker run a fantastic education programme based around 3D printing, and I'm very happy to be partnering with them to help provide a school with a brilliant 3D printing educational package.
On top of this, the talented 3D modeller and designer Brian Richardson heard about the competition and offered the winning school one of his gorgeous models for free, to get the kids inspired!
Six schools responded to the STEMSussex call for entries, with each school submitting a short statement as to why they deserved a free 3D printer. I read and re-read them, and took the bank holiday weekend to decide....all schools were of course worthy and put across a great statement, but in the end there can only be one winner!
The winner - announced earlier on Twitter - is Longhill High School. Head of Technology, Mr Matthews wrote a wonderful statement detailing his own experience with 3D modelling and printing, and his plans to get the kids creating a start-up business designing and selling models such as iPhone cases and jewellery, with profits being reinvested to purchase the raw materials needed to create more prints. Longhill High School has a large proportion of students from underprivileged backgrounds who don't often chose STEM careers so it is an absolute pleasure to be working with them and donating a free 3D printer. I am really looking forward to visiting the school as a STEM ambassador and helping set-up the printer and the 3D printing club. Who knows - we might find the next 3D printing genius!
A valiant effort by Cardinal Newman Catholic School earned them the second prize of a 3D printer on loan for one month. They'll get to try out what the printer can do, as well as benefit from all the educational support from UltimakerCREATE that's on offer. Mrs Stone, their Head of Technology, wrote of the sheer excitement the pupils had of watching Youtube videos about 3D printers, so I can only imagine what the kids reaction will be once they get their hands on one in the classroom!
My thanks goes out to Daniel Hawkins at STEMSussex who helped organise this competition.
Keep posted here or follow me on Twitter to find out what happens when the schools get their printers!
PS: There's always room for more money in the prize fund - so if you're feeling generous you can help get a better spec model for the winning school. Come on, it's for the kids!
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