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Podcast: Teaching design thinking with Makers Empire

Written by Ben Newsome on July 17th, 2017.      0 comments

Makers Empire and the FizzicsEd Podcast Episode 10

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When it comes to design thinking, having students create 3D objects that solve a real-world problem is pretty close to a perfect lesson. In this talk with Mandi Dimitriadis from Makers Empire we discover just how far 3D printing has come (you can even print in chocolate!) plus the critical importance of project-based learning in allowing students to explore their own creativity.

About Mandi Dimitriadis

Mandi from Makers Empire
Design thinking made easy

Mandi is the  Director of Learning for Makers Empire, a web-based software company that has created an educational environment for students to explore 3D printing through design challenges and curriculum-linked activities. She an experienced classroom teacher who recognises the power of technology to enhance teaching and improve educational outcomes. Mandi has extensive experience with curriculum development and professional learning, having previously developed programs for the South Australian Government’s Department of Education. She is passionate about Design Thinking and how best to prepare today’s students for the future.

Top 3 learnings

  1. If you’re a developer, make your software easy to use! Teachers need a safe environment where students can intuitively use your software in a way that is aligned to learning objectives.
  2. Secondly, if you’re working with schools please take the time to create professional learning opportunities and a suite of background notes for teachers to use. A teacher dashboard showing student progress and analytics these days is always appreciated.
  3. Finally, consider 3D printing as part of your overall teaching plan. Once the students get the basics of 3D printing you can direct their energies to creating devices that solve real world problems at school or for someone they know. Talk about 21st century skills! Check out these tips for 3D printing in your school.

Further contact details for Makers Empire


About the FizzicsEd Podcast

With interviews with leading science educators and STEM thought leaders, this science education podcast is about highlighting different ways of teaching kids within and beyond the classroom. It's not just about educational practice & pedagogy, it's about inspiring new ideas & challenging conventions of how students can learn about their world!

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Happy teaching,


Ben Newsome
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