GE this week announced more than one hundred Australian schools have been selected for its 2018 GE Additive Education Program, the largest rollout of its kind in Australia. The primary and secondary schools from across the country will receive a polymer 3D printer, supporting software and an education curriculum to give students hands-on additive manufacturing experience.
Globally, GE received applications from over 3,000 schools for its 2018 Additive Education Program. Six hundred schools were accepted around the world, of which 103 of those are Australian.
At an event at North Sydney Demonstration School, one of the Australian schools selected for the program, President and CEO of GE APAC, Wouter Van Wersch said,
Additive manufacturing will be one of the biggest disruptors in the future of industry, and Australia has a huge opportunity to lead in this globally.
Through our Additive Education Program, GE aims to help build a strong pipeline of additive manufacturing skills – starting from the classroom – so that the next generation are on the front foot to take on future manufacturing opportunities.
CEO of GE Australia, Max York said,
Australia has always been early adopters of technology and the fact that the highest number of schools awarded in this program, after the United States, are Australian shows that we are punching above our weight in this rapidly growing industry.
I’m thrilled that through this program, approximately 30,000 students in Australia will now have access to 3D-printing technology and gain skills from our global education curriculum.
GE Additive has made a significant commitment over five years to invest in educational programs to deliver polymer 3D printers to primary and secondary schools and metal 3D printers to colleges and universities around the world. Enabling educational institutions to provide access to 3D printers will help develop the ecosystem and accelerate the adoption of additive manufacturing worldwide.
Now in its second year, the GE Additive Education Program is awarding primary and secondary schools a 3D printing package and lesson plans that integrate 3D printing with core academic curriculum in science, technology engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM).
The learning program that will help students translate their visions into 3D printed creations was created by Adelaide-based startup Makers Empire and STEAMtrax.
Makers Empire CEO, Jon Soong said,
We are passionate about empowering students and teachers with the power of 3D printing to develop design thinking and 21st century learning skills.
The GE Additive Education Program benefits schools by providing exposure to 3D printing and encouraging students to incorporate the technology into a broader problem-solving approach.
Australia has already seen success with GE’s Additive Education Program. In 2017 the University of New South Wales was the only tertiary institution outside the US to be presented with one of eight Concept Laser Mlab cusing metal laser printers in the first year of the program.
GE will deliver the polymer 3D printing packages to the more than 600 primary and secondary schools in 30 countries later this year.