3-D printing inspires Falkland Islands youngsters

Posted on 08 Nov 2019 and read 493 times
3-D printing inspires Falkland Islands youngstersThe Falkland Islands — an archipelago almost half the size of Wales, comprising two main islands and 778 smaller islands — has a population of just over 3,500.

A radio station covers local news, and Penguin News is the territory’s only newspaper.

There are two schools in Stanley, the capital, and Susannah Nightingale is the Communications Regulator appointed by the Governor of the Falkland Islands.

During Communications Week, concerns were raised (particularly by parents) that Falkland Islands children were not using technology in the same way as their peers elsewhere in the world, and it was decided that they should be given the confidence to pursue studies and careers in technology.

Ms Nightingale said: “There are vast possibilities that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) offer.

“More needs to be done to quell misconceptions about the sector and invite children to imagine a future not just as an ICT user but also as a creator.”

Karen Armstrong, who teaches computing technology to four- to 11-year-olds, said: “Our young people need to aspire to use advanced technologies, and what better way to do that than to see the process through from design to the final product, with the help of leading experts.”

The decision was taken to set up a competition asking Junior School children to create a design and see it ‘come to life through 3-D printing’.

They partnered with Igus UK (www.igus.co.uk) ‘to bring a taste of 3-D printing to the school’.

The challenge was to draw a design for one of two themes. The first was a recycling robot or litter picker that could be used in the Falklands to keep streets or oceans clean; the second was to imagine what transport would be like for the islanders in the future.

The winning design was sent to Igus and converted into a digital design, then 3-D printed.

There were over 40 entries, and the overall winner was Hayden Stanworth with his ‘sieving’ robot, which separates out recyclable waste.

Highly commended was Toyah Wilson with her picker robotic arm.

Ms Nightingale said: “With more people understanding the potential of 3-D printing, the technology is set to revolutionise life in the Falkland Islands.

“Perhaps in the not too distant future, items will no longer be manufactured in factories and shipped thousands of miles to the buyer.

“Instead, a file of the 3-D product could simply be downloaded and printed at home.”

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