Brunel University London is involved in a project aimed to inspire the next generation of students to study STEM subjects. The project is called SAM (Sector Skills Strategy in Additive Manufacturing) and its objective is to increase the attractiveness of the Additive Manufacturing sector to young people, whilst promoting gender balance. In February 2020, Brunel’s Dr Adeayo Sotayo attended and presented at a STEM event and workshop for secondary school students at the University of Bristol (UK).
As part of this event, over 30 students aged 9 and 10 were shown insights and educated on 3D Printing, which is one of the major objectives of the SAM project. These demonstrations entailed a presentation followed by practical activities related to 3D Printing. 3D printed objects and materials, were shown to the students, highlighting innovation, problem-solving techniques, and environmental considerations towards a sustainable future. The students found the demonstrations stimulating and engaging, which increased their awareness of 3D Printing and other cutting-edge STEM fields, all of which showcased the feasibility of STEM careers. Furthermore, due to the COVID19 pandemic, a Tech4kids 3D Printing Webinar was organised for School Children (aged 14+) under the scope of the SAM Project in July 2020. The session, which was organised and delivered by Dr Eujin Pei and Dr Adeayo Sotayo, covered the “What”, “Why” “How” of 3D Printing. The session also covered case studies showing how 3D Printing is helping with COVID19 and a live demonstration of how to build a simple 3D model. The session ended with an interactive quiz on 3D Printing, which assessed their knowledge about the technology. Overall, these activities fit well with one of the objectives of the SAM project to increase the awareness of AM and the promotion of the AM sector as a career choice for primary, general education, vocational education and training (VET) and university students.
The SAM Consortium (http://www.skills4am.eu/) comprises 16 European Partners and 32 Associated Partners covering different roles, including Social Actors, Industry Representatives and Education and Training Providers and Dr Eujin Pei leads the project at Brunel University.