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On the 5th December at the Digital Skills Show ArtSystems’ STEM Ambassadors, Ted Freer and Will Glass, introduced 3D printing to over 200 students. The event saw year 7 and 8 students from four Nottingham schools experience a variety of interactive digital activities at The National Videogame Arcade in a day designed to generate interest, excitement and awareness of potential digital careers.

Ted Freer, Divisional Manager Design for Nottingham-based specialist distributor ArtSystems, explained the purpose and importance of the day: “Our aim as accredited Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Ambassadors was to use our technological insight and commercial experience to offer students a glimpse of the way 3D printing and additive manufacturing is changing the whole process of design and manufacture for products used every day. Thanks to this turnkey technology – and within just a few years – industry will be offering these young people new jobs and careers that simply don’t exist today.

“We live in a time of tremendous change and our remit is to help ensure these students are ready to both overcome the obstacles and benefit from this exciting technology’s huge potential. We set them the practical task of assembling a 3D printed respirator, and they really enjoyed the challenge of putting a functioning product together. It was great to see how quickly they realised why this type of process could change the way all products were made. We were proud to be working with the designers and manufacturers of the future, and hoped we had gone some way towards putting their feet firmly on the first rungs of the ladder towards success.”

The Digital Skills Show was organised by Aspire, a partnership between Nottingham City Council and Futures Advice, Skills & Employment. It works with Nottingham City schools and employers to encourage pupils to think differently about their future careers. Organisers say that plans for events in 2018 are well underway with more exciting technologies to be introduced to students.