Implementing World Changing Technologies into European Schools

Last week Martin Stevens of A1 Technologies gave a thought-provoking presentation to the Institut Turgot in Paris within the framework of ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ to highlight the benefits of implementing advanced technologies in schools across Europe. The day was organized by Nelly Guet, who, having retired from front line education, now heads up an organization called AlertEducation with the dedicated aim of increasing entrepreneurialism and skills in European schools. The alignment with A1 Technologies’ own dedicated mission is striking. Martin’s demonstrable long-term strategy of improving engineering, design and make skills in educational facilities is a core tenet within the remit of A1 Technologies and a personal commitment.

Briefing the assembly on the value of advanced and accessible 3D digital technologies for design and make applications, Martin conveyed the importance of introducing these technologies to students at the earliest possible opportunity to maximize their potential for developing individual skills and entrepreneurialism. He also expounded the further benefits that can be identified such as local manufacture (reversing the trend for mass off-shore manufacturing) and the environmental advantages that come from this. Stressing how education is too important to be left to politicians alone, Martin pressed home the point that companies must get involved in developing the right kind of future employees with the right kinds of skills, whether by mentoring, school visits or other interventions.

The central premise of Martin’s presentation demonstrated how 3D digital technologies in schools offer students valuable hands-on experience that can lead directly to vocational opportunities within the engineering sector. Beyond school however, many European countries are faced with similar problems in this sector — contracting numbers of engineers and a shrinking manufacturing base. The need to create value, establish creative design hubs and promote innovation and entrepreneurialism is much vaunted. During his presentation, Martin was able to show that 3D digital technologies can not only tick all of these boxes but they can benefit the individual students, the schools that adopt them and industry at large with positive outcomes for respective economies and governments.

Investing in these technologies for schools is a key investment in the future, creating an active learning environment with a focus on advanced technology for real-world applications. The benefits and the rewards of the A1 Technologies product range within this remit are also stark, in that all of the individual products can be integrated to accommodate the whole design and make process. Furthermore, the products are all easily accessible — to students of any age — designed to be easy to learn, easy to use, easy to understand, fun and affordable.

Martin’s talk was well received — with thunderous applause — both due to its content and the fact that it was delivered in French. The audience gave Martin the same feedback as he had received in other countries, and which matches the UK issues, that there is a great need for both STEM and entrepreneurial skills to drive the economy of the future.

The full range of products offered by A1 Technologies including the StudioMill 5-axis CNC machine, the RapMan and BfB 3D printers, the Chameleon 3D haptic application, the 3D David Laser Scanner and the Unimat range can be viewed at the company’s website: www.a1-tech.com.uk

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