Education: How to teach the teachers?

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Black Country Atelier teaches children about design through 3D CAD and 3D printing, but is seeing a rise in school teachers needing training

When stood at our fine DEVELOP3D trade stand at the TCT Live show last week we couldn’t fail to notice* Black County Atelier’s (BCA) workshop for teaching local children about 3D CAD and 3D Printing.

Through similar workshops at the V&A museum, Barbican Centre, and the Big Bang education show it has taught over 10,000 people – not just kids, as the interesting part is that demand for its work is also coming from adults.

Over the last three months alone it has taught over 20 teachers, from hour long taster sessions at workshop events to courses covering one term, or two year courses comes loaded with a full qualification.

The BCA set up a classroom like this at trade shows (the keen of eye will spot the DEVELOP3D stand in the background)


“Our courses are a huge deal as there currently is no support structure in place for teachers to teach 3D printing, for example, in a fun way that hits the national curriculum and delivers particular learning outcomes,” says Mitesh Patel, CCO at BCA.

“Courses addresses teacher training, lesson plans, exams, moderation and qualifications – and teaches how to use and approach tools such as 3D printers and CAD the correct way as per industry. Its not a ‘course’ that we provide, but rather an infrastructure and solution so that schools can deliver new technology within the classroom.

“Our instructors and course content developers are industry veterans and real product designers from various industries who continue to work on live commercial projects – so they teach using real design process.”

Depending on age groups students are taught different 3D CAD tools, varying from SketchUp to SolidWorks.

“We keep our content fresh by encompassing real projects which are simplified for the classrooms; so students learn the proper technique if they wanted to re-create it. For example, how to create a 3D CAD of a fashion watch etc – teachers or entry level designer can guess- but at BCA we take the time to capture and teach how real watch designers approach and do their projects. We scale this back into our content and classroom delivery.”

The team from BCA will be teaching CAD and 3D printing to primary and secondary schools at Euromold later this year, focussing on the consumer product design industry.

*Partly because we directly faced its ‘classroom’

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