Dec 9, 2015 | By Kira

Stratasys today announced a major partnership with STEM Inc, Science Centre Singapore to introduce applied 3D design and 3D printing learning programs for primary, secondary, and junior colleges, giving young students first-hand access to and experience in 3D printing and additive manufacturing, and teaching them the skills they’ll need to form the next generation of brilliant minds.

We’ve all heard the reports that the 3D printing market is set to reach $17.2 billion by 2020; that the 3D bioprinting market will reach $1.82 billion by 2022; and that 3D printer shipments are expected to keep doubling in size every year after next…but what about after 2020? 2050? The year 3000? Who will be leading and pushing for innovation in the 3D printing industry, as well as scientific innovation more generally? The very bright future of us all depends on preparing the next generation of big thinkers by getting children and students involved now in educational programs that will lead them to STEM-related careers.

That is precisely the goal of STEM Inc, a unit of the Science Centre Singapore established in January 2014 dedicated to igniting students’ passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Through hands-on activities, talks and learning journeys, STEM Inc seeks to nurture Singapore’s future STEM workforce, which will be essential to building the nation’s economy.

Mr Ido Eylon, general manager at Stratasys South Asia and Pacific, speaking at the Stratasys 3-D printing experience centre

Examples of 3-D printed objects at the Stratasys 3-D printing experience centre

Through this new partnership with Stratasys, a leading global provider of 3D printers and 3D printing solutions, students of all ages, from primary school to junior college, will have access to 3D printing machines, and receive guidance on everything from conceptualization, to 3D design and final production. The partnership was formed after a successful two-day pilot workshop earlier this year, where students from four schools were invited to 3D print toys, model planes, or other objects and pique their interest in 3D printing technology.

According to Chief Executive of Science Centre Singapore, Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng, the benefits of introducing 3D printing and additive manufacturing to Singaporeans at such a young age is the key to shaping the future of Singapore in areas such as R&D and product innovation—areas that have the power to make or break an economy, particularly in such a well-positioned and technologically advanced nation as Singapore.

“There has been tremendous progress made in the areas of 3D innovation and 3D printing in recent years. Partnering with industry leader such as Stratasys enables students to gain early access to this new cutting edge technology and to equip themselves with better skills, so as to contribute to the real-world STEM industries in future,” said Meng.

A previous exhibit at the Singapore Science Centre

“The education program provides the opportunity for students to try their hand at it, and for educators to prepare skilled employees for the future, bridging the gap between education and the actual workforce,” added Ido Eylon, General Manager at Stratasys South Asia & Pacific. “Moving forward, we believe the next generation of engineers and designers will be able to unleash even more possibilities in 3D printing as we continue to push the boundaries of this innovative technology.”

Already, the demand for engineers, scientists, and skilled technicians is outstripping the supply, and Singapore, alongside many other countries, is facing a shortage of talent in the STEM fields. According to the Ministry of Manpower in Singapore, four of the top 10 professions with the biggest number of vacancies today are engineering-related. There’s no doubt about it: the future of 3D printing and scientific innovation depends on the youth of today.

Stratasys and STEM Inc, Science Center Singapore aren’t the only ones pushing for STEM education in schools and at home. We’ve seen some other great projects, including Youth for Technology launching a 3D printing program for African girls, a Kickstarter for the educational MyStemKits 3D printing platform, and STEMI, a DIY open access robot that teaches kids 3D modeling, robotics, coding and more.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printer Company

 

 

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