For many young Australians, technology is an exciting concept that will play a significant role in their future. Whether in the workplace or their personal lives, innovations such as 3D printing and UAVs represent just a small percentage of the technology of tomorrow.
To ensure the next generation is up to speed, immersion must start at a young age. In fact, this was one of the reasons behind the decision of St Ignatius College's digital technology department to purchase the Ultimaker 3D printer from Redstack.
The beginning of a partnership between St Ignatius College and Redstack
After a number of reliability issues with other Australian technology providers, Adelaide's St Ignatius College decided to look within South Australia for a supplier with the local knowledge and expertise to help their students.
In recent months, the school began work with Redstack; outlining the benefits of an international business with high-quality products, but importantly with a community focus. St Ignatius College soon invested in an Ultimaker 3D printer and the students have never looked back since.
Implementation of the Ultimaker 3D printer
Time in the classroom is of the essence for both teachers and students which meant Head of Technology Garth Coulter and his team put in hours of research to ensure any 3D printer put in place was fast, reliable and easy to set up.
Mr Coulter said the Ultimaker ticked all the right boxes.
"The idea is that the kids are able to start straight away and it is the award-winning industry benchmark. Even on draft prints, the Ultimaker was above the rest."
The flexibility of the 3D printer means that students in a wide variety of subjects can take advantage of its uses. This includes:
"Where you can't actually go out on buy some of these applications, we just have our students in-house design and make them," Mr Coulter explained.
Ultimaker 3D printer brings benefits to students
The 3D printer was added to the school's investment portfolio for one reason - student engagement. While it is important to teach the basic elements of various subjects, it is even better for students to see their ideas come to life.
"The benefit of the kids theoretically coming up with an idea and actually seeing it and touching the concept is huge," Mr Coulter noted.
"It takes us to the next stage of not only rapid prototyping, but the kids can try and market the products in way that it benefits others in the community."
When students at St Ignatius College first see and use the 3D printer, they are simply mesmerised and believe it is a cool addition to the curriculum, Mr Coulter stated. In fact, some students are so far ahead with the technology that they are using processes that are foreign to the teachers involved, highlighting the value of incorporating this type of innovation in the school setting.
Widening the scope of the Redstack partnership
Due to the success of 3D printing, Mr Coulter is looking forward to working with Redstack more in the future. This includes DJI Phantom UAVs for aerial photography, a whole 3D print lab and Autodesk CAD software for 3D modelling.
Mr Coulter explained the benefit of the school implementing drone / UAV technology.
"We are really moving hard into UAVs for film and photography in particular for school carnivals. We want to project these events back to parents and because you are not identifying students, it provides a unique aspect to the event."
Gold MacBook - icing on the cake
Redstack recently celebrated its 20th birthday and to thank our loyal customers, put everyone into a draw for a Gold MacBook. After purchasing its Ultimaker 3D printer, St Ignatius College was the lucky recipient of the Apple product.
Mr Coulter said being surprised was an understatement and was thrilled with the additional laptop for the school.
"It was really generous. We saw it come in and thought 'you're kidding me'," he said.
He added that the 20th birthday prize was going to great use.
"We are currently setting it up as a mobile robotics machine for future competitions. The portability factor also really makes it ideal for on-the-go filming and editing," Mr Coulter added.
St Ignatius College would recommend Redstack to other schools for 3D printers and other technology as a result of their commitment to education.
"We've been really impressed with Redstack and the fact that they are really into promoting education makes it ideal for a college of our size. The relationship ensures students have the skills for future job demands," he concluded.
Design and Engineering Solutions for Education
About Saint Ignatius College
Saint Ignatius College is a Catholic co-educational school conducted by the Jesuits with a senior school campus at Athelstone, South Australia. The College, in the spirit of the Jesuit tradition, strives to educate the whole person, and so our students are encouraged to be critical thinkers with a love of learning throughout their lives. This approach promotes student involvement in a wide range of activities, both in and out of the classroom, and to prepare themselves for whatever their career beyond school may be. For more information see ignatius.sa.edu.au