Kids print city with 3D tech

The use of technology in schools has been boosted with 3D printing breaking new ground, giving children the chance to design their own city

This is thanks to Near Now Fellow, Dejan Mitrovic and the creation of Kideville –a unique 3D printing design project for primary and early secondary school children. 

Kideville is a city design project for schools to teach Design & Technology through 3D printing in KS2/KS3. Kidesign curriculum kits contain lesson plans, tools, videos, design missions and activities for learning through making. 

Near Now is the commissioning and talent development programme for Broadway – an independent cinema and creative hub in Nottingham – which works closely with artists and designers to produce projects that explore the place of technology in everyday life. 

Broadway’s Near Now Fellowship is a 15-month scheme for UK based artistic innovators to develop ambitious new work & push their career forwards, supported using public funding by Arts Council England. 

The Fellowship programme invests in creators who are involved in interdisciplinary research across three interconnected themes, including health and wellbeing, digital culture and media experience and civic innovation.              

Dejan Mitrovic founder and creator of Kidesign (www.kidesign.org) the tech-education company behind the Kideville kit, said: “I have been teaching design and running 3D printing workshops across the country for a few years now.

“Working with Near Now has allowed me to transfer all that knowledge and experience into a product that educators can use to inspire children through rich and engaging learning experiences.” 

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Kideville is a sustainable city design project, which is entirely planned and created by children through a simplified design process. The programme takes children through the process of research, ideation, sketching, 3D drawing, CAD modelling and 3D printing all the way to final model assembly. 

Up to 36 children can participate in Kideville, all of which have their own role and responsibilities within the city, the children are also encouraged to work collaboratively to create their island -which is the final outcome of the Kideville programme.

Dejan added: “Lots of schools are investing into 3D printers and end up not using them. While 3D printing is promoted as an educational tool, there are currently no teaching-learning materials around it. 

“We’ve worked with many schools, and teachers who have told us that they are intimidated by new technology and struggle to integrate it into their lessons.  Kideville helps teachers bring their lessons to life with this exciting technology, allowing kids to learn through a collaborative project and hands on making.”

Kidesign has a wide five-year portfolio of 3D printing projects for education, and has also been showcased internationally at the Maker Faire in San Francisco, 3D Printshow in London and also at a major exhibition in the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The Kideville kit was tested in five schools across the UK before launching the final product at this year’s Bett show.

Mathew Trivett, creative producer behind the Near Now scheme, said: “We have thoroughly enjoyed working on Kideville, as we have been able to help Dejan bring to life a product which will make a real difference to education in the UK. The teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects in schools is now more than important than ever, and Kideville makes these subjects fun and digestible for young people.”

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