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October 18 2016 | Views: 1123
Kent and Medway
There is a monthly after school group that meets in a tea room in Gravesend for a talk or other activity based around STEM and other subjects. It's an interesting challenge for any invited speaker. The children are aged from 10-14 but we never know exactly how many will turn up, their exact ages or their interests. Additionally, there are the adults who come with the children and finally, since the event takes place in a tea room, there's no laboratory or technicians – just shelves of beautiful china and lots of cake. Fortunately STEM ambassadors, such as Steven Smith, like a challenge and he accepted the invitation to be our October speaker.
His subject was 3D printing and his talk explained the principles whilst a printer, borrowed from STEM, brought his words to life. He outlined some current uses and then considered future possibilities emphasising that, as always, the only limiting factor is people's imaginations. In the final part of the session the children, and adults, using the additive principle of 3D printing that Steven had explained, made either a rhinoceros head or a car. Great excitement and enthusiasm was exhibited as they realised how it all worked.
Inspirational speakers can enthuse the next generation and Steven achieved just that. At the end of the activity the children had had a glimpse of their future and understood the principles at work in 3D printing. Eyes were opened and horizons expanded and all washed down with tea and cake.