A partnership which will help inspire the next generation of engineers and creatives has been forged with the UK’s leading ‘maker education’ provider.

The agreement will see SteamWorks, in association with Colido Europe, launch MakerEd UK – an exciting new programme of training, equipment, support and coaching for junior schools across the UK. This will in turn enable them to become Maker Schools and help teach pupils about the technology and innovations that will shape the world around them and impact on their future careers. The project has been supported by the Sheffield Innovation Programme and the Institute of Education at Sheffield Hallam University.

Each school signing up to the programme will receive a CoLiDo Compact 3D printer along with various support materials to make their 3D printing experience fun and rewarding.

The first phase of the MakerEd UK scheme is now underway with pilot primary schools taking part in the first wave of training before making it available nationwide later this year.

Dr Alison Buxton of MakerEd has over 15 years experience inspiring young people in science, technology, engineering & maths and has carried out extensive research into how young people make career choices and how experiences in childhood lead to future interests in STEM education.  She commented: “This is an incredibly exciting project which we believe will massively enhance the opportunities for children to experience the world of making and innovation, and help them to consider future education and careers for the Digital Age.

“With the latest predictions of 30% of jobs being replaced by automation, robotics and artificial intelligence in as little as 13 years, the children of today need to be ahead of the game and learn about the latest technology, its potential and how they can engage with it.”

Colido’s extensive range of 3D printers and consumables are designed and manufactured by Print-Rite who have a strong commitment to supporting projects that explore the power of 3D printing and making the process more accessible.

Commented Chief Executive of Print-Rite Europe, Tony Mills: “When we heard about the aims of MakerEd UK, and its potential reach, we were delighted to get involved. Steam Works will deliver some excellent science and engineering-based initiatives in schools. We are still only just starting to scratch the surface of what 3D print can contribute to a massive range of applications, both now and in the future, and it’s right that we should be looking to the next generation of 3D makers to fully exploit this incredible potential.”

• Pictured at the official launch of the MakerEd UK and Colido Europe partnership at Kimberworth Community Primary School near Rotherham, are, from left, Print-Rite Europe General Manager, Andrew Doherty; Teacher, Claire Short; Pupils, Owain, Kaelie and Danielle; Alison Buxton and Helen Bell, MakerEd / Steam Works.