TOGHER National School, Dunmanway, proved they have model students after scooping first prize in a nationwide 3D printing challenge.
The West Cork school will now go forward to represent Ireland in a European showcase.
Togher NS staff members Helen O’Connell and Richard Swann have been invited to a workshop on 3D design and printing in advance of the contest.
The three-and-a-half-day course was funded by EIT-Manufacturing and supported by Stryker and I-Form (University College Dublin) in Ireland.
Arts et Metier Institute of Technology in France and University of Tartu in Estonia also supported the cause.
Participating teachers were provided with a free, long-term loan of a 3D printer for their school.
The 3D printing challenge incorporated a theme relating to sustainability in the classroom.
Togher NS principal Helen O’Connell described how much the children learned throughout the process. “It was a fantastic course and I would recommend it to all teachers,” she said.
“3D printing provides children with the ability to design and create their own unique objects. This helps foster their creativity.”
In keeping with the sustainability theme, children were challenged with identifying an item at home or school that required enhancement or repair. They also had to sketch out possible solutions as well as create modifications and prototypes with the help of recycled materials. The children also learned skills to exploit CAD (Computer Aided Design) and Slicer software to prepare their designs for 3D printing. Trial prints identified further modifications and redesigns before completion of the finished products.
The journey from conception to design to production was recorded as a short video which was accessed by the judging panel from I-Form, based in UCD, and Stryker. It can be viewed on the school blog.
The school received a €1, 000 voucher and children will be presented with individual vouchers in the upcoming weeks. Togher NS will now go forward to represent Ireland at a European level at the end of the month.