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Virtual excursions

Students embrace 3D at Questacon

Questacon’s cutting-edge design technology has been demonstrated to three schools around Australia via a videoconference-based virtual excursion.

In a three-month project, Questacon’s 3D Design Virtual Excursion saw 46 students from schools in the ACT as well as Victoria and Western Australia used 3D design and printing to create body parts for a figurine.

Questacon’s Director of Science and Learning, Stuart Kohlhagen said he hoped the project would motivate students to find out more about the increasing application of this technology and potential careers on offer.

“Additive manufacturing, including 3D design and printing, is revolutionising manufacturing across many industries worldwide,” Dr Kohlhagen said.

“These students have had the opportunity to explore design, engineering and modern manufacturing techniques,” he said.

“They’ve gained practical skills and experience in computer-aided design and manufacturing, measurement, geometry and communication.”

He said the groups were provided with a torso with snap-in sockets and a blueprint ball-joint design to build upon.

He said using 3D design and printing, the teams created heads, arms, legs and even wings for the torso to complete the figurine.

Dr Kohlhagen said the students experienced the process of innovation; learning that turning ideas into reality requires perseverance and creative problem-solving.

“These are important skills – not only for life – but also foundation skills for careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM),” he said.

Questacon facilitators, along with mechanical engineer at Raytheon, Dallas Roderick, guided the students via interactive videoconference workshops connected through Questacon’s Schmidt Studio and an online network.