Photo credit: Teentech
TeenTech is a series of one-day events for schools which aim to inspire teenagers to follow careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects. Since May Dad, myself and/or various members of TVRRUG have taken along our RepRaps to several of these events around the country and put on a short activity for the students to customise and print the word “RepRap”. We try to demonstrate that not only is technology fun and amazing, but also attainable – you don’t need to be part of a massive company and spend lots of money to get involved, and it is possible to build incredible technology yourself.
It’s amazing how much there is to talk about RepRap and 3D printing – from how the technology works, to the open source hardware movement, from the benefits of 3D printing versus other manufacturing technologies to where do you get the 3D models from. Of course, the scanning demonstration with a Kinect and videos of chocolate printing do nothing to dampen the enthusiasm!
We’ve been to TeenTechs Berkshire, City, Hampshire, South Yorkshire and Humberside to name but a few, at conference centres, hotels, race courses and even a football stadium. We were in good company – HRH Duke of York was a special guest at TeenTech Hampshire!
We have several more lined up for this academic year. Any suggestions of other inspirational, affordable, open projects that we could add to our repertoire of activities and displays?