Company wants to make 3D technology accessible to students

SND16-wk4-3D TechnologyWanhao New Zealand, which distributes Wanhao exclusively, has made it a priority for 3D printers to become part of the New Zealand curriculum.

With the way the world is going, there is a need for more and more specialised skillsets and offering these to children at a young age can often allow them to have a greater understanding how things work, especially when it comes to technology, company spokesperson Clark Valmont says.

“New Zealand has always been on the forefront of scientific achievement, from the great splitting of the atom by Rutherford or the invention of the eggbeater by Ernest Godward along with numerous others.

“We need to ensure that children have the opportunity to be amongst these greats and 3D printing can give this advantage to children across the country,” Mr Valmont says.

Wanhao New Zealand has partnered with a number of New Zealand schools, along with Auckland College to offer a course in Sketch-Up (the industry standard design program behind 3D printing).

The purpose of this was to offer teachers a fundamental knowledge of how to make objects and become qualified in 3D printing in order for them to pass this knowledge on to children across the country, Mr Valmont says.

“Speaking to technology experts around the country made it evident to Wanhao that offering a printer at discounted rates to schools wasn’t enough as the children needed the fundamental understanding of what 3D printing was, how to create their own designs and turn these into a reality.

“Within five years, there will be many thousands of jobs within New Zealand that require 3D printing, from advances in healthcare, engineering, industrial design – the list goes on. New Zealand needs to ensure that every child has the ability to learn skills and abilities that relate to the changing world and job market.”

In other countries numerous schools have begun teaching coding, programming and 3D printing to children at very junior levels as this is when the mind is at its most adaptable, meaning children are able to pick these skills up significantly easier than they would at a later age, Mr Valmont says.

“Within this partnership that Wanhao has offered to New Zealand schools via Auckland College many teachers are finding it a fantastic opportunity to upskill and pass this fantastic knowledge to the students.

“The future is now and New Zealand cannot risk the chance of falling behind when it comes to having educational programs that change the lives of students.”

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Rosie Clarke

Rosie is the managing editor here at Multimedia Pty Ltd, working across School News New Zealand and School News Australia. She has spent 10+ years in B2B journalism, and has spent some time over the last couple of years teaching as a sessional academic. Feel free to contact her at any time with editorial or magazine content enquiries.
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