3D printing's all the rage at this decile 1 school

Affordable housing ready in 24 hours, human organs, cheap functional prosthetic limbs, rapid automotive design - with 3D printing, the possibilities are endless.

But where do we start? How about in the classroom of a decile 1 school in Auckland's Glen Innes?

As the working world becomes increasingly automated, a large number of jobs are set to be replaced - but with what exactly?

The answer to that question isn't clear, but there is some certainty within the uncertainty - that there will be an increased needs for digitally skilled workforce.

Careers won't just be for those who fit the Zuckerbergian cliché, and they won't necessarily be focused around machine learning and robotics. Jobs will vary in difficulty, and as technology advances so will the scope of employment.  

Students at Glen Taylor Primary are taking 3D printing classes as an extracurricular activity. They meet every Tuesday lunchtime to print and share their creations.

Students at Glen Taylor Primary are being prepped for the tech economy.
Students at Glen Taylor Primary are being prepped for the tech economy. Photo credit: Newshub.

National plans to make digital technologies a part of the school curriculum by 2018, with full implementation by 2020. Education Minister Nikki Kaye announced in June there would be a $40 million spent over three years.

"Digital fluency is now an essential life skill for our young people, so we must ensure they have the skills and knowledge they need to engage in an increasingly digital world."

The package is divided into three areas, with more than half the total money - $24 million - being spent on upskilling teachers. That includes $9m for tailored learning and $15m to introduce teachers to the new curriculum for school years 1 through 10.

"Teachers will lead the delivery of the new curriculum, but we want to do everything we can to support them to understand new technologies and translate this understanding to effective learning in the classroom," Ms Kaye said during a school visit with Prime Minister Bill English in Auckland on Wednesday.

A study conducted by the University of Oxford estimated 47 percent of jobs in the US are at risk of disappearing due to computerisation.

Most at risk are: 

  • Farm labor contractors are at 97 percent risk of losing their jobs
  • 97 percent - real estate brokers
  • 96 percent - cooks
  • 96 percent - office clerks, general
  • 95 percent - jewellers and precious stone and metal workers
  • 96 percent - receptionists and information clerks
  • 94 percent - waiters and waitresses
  • 93 percent - butchers and meat cutters
  • 92 percent - retail salespersons
  • 91 percent - tour guides
  • 90 percent - roofers
  • 89 percent - taxi drivers and chauffeurs
  • 89 percent - bakers
  • 88 percent - construction laborers
  • 83 percent - fishers and related fishing workers
  • 80 percent - barbers.

See the full study here.



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