PRESS RELEASE

3D printing takes Tower Bridge into a new dimension

Unique 3D printed models used in new, free STEM education workshops at London landmark.


close up of Tower Bridge model lifting
 

Oxford & London UK, November 19, 2014

New workshops for schools recently unveiled by the Tower Bridge Learning team include unique 3D printed models produced by independent educational technology company ‘I Can Make’.

In addition to learning about the history of Tower Bridge, children will gain an understanding of the engineering behind it. In the workshops, pupils work in teams to assemble a 3D printed model of the bridge. By attaching it to a simple circuit and motor, and using basic coding principles, they will get to raise their very own Tower Bridge.

A model kit of Tower Bridge, which will shortly be available on the 'I Can Make' store, will allow children to learn about the engineering of the past in a hands-on, experiential way. It will also provide them with insights into 3D printing technology and computer aided design (CAD) – both of which are included on the national curriculum in the UK, and which have been hailed by many as the biggest developments in engineering and manufacturing in decades.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Tower Bridge education team in this way,” said Chris Thorpe, Founder and Chief Technologist for 'I Can Make'. “As publishers of educational 3D content, our mission is to encourage playful learning, and to help teachers and parents feel comfortable with this new technology, so that they can encourage their children to explore its possibilities.”

Tower Bridge’s Education Officer, Natalie Cain added “This has literally brought a new dimension to our schools education programme. Using the models to illustrate the lifting mechanism of the bridge has really brought the structure to life for the children. Once they understand how it all works, they are keen to learn more about engineering and the role it has played in our social history.”

The workshops, which take place inside a dedicated learning space within Tower Bridge’s historic structure, are now available for booking. The team at Tower Bridge is looking forward to welcoming Key stage 2 pupils to the Bridge, so they can discover Tower Bridge’s fascinating engineering story through modern technology. These innovative learning sessions, which are available to classes of up to 34, also come at no extra cost to schools after admission fee. . For more information, please see: http://www.towerbridge.org.uk/schools/

'I Can Make' plans to release its first range of downloadable, printable model kits for homes and schools in December 2014. The kits will be printable on a variety of 3D printers, including Ultimaker, Printrbot, MakerBot and 3D Systems Cube machines. Many of the kits can be brought to life with motors, LEDs and other electronic components controlled by Arduino microcomputers and simple self-explanatory code.

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About I Can Make

I Can Make creates and sells fun, educational 'print and build' kits to make with 3D printers. It develops STEM education resources with museums, schools and trusts. Through playful learning, I Can Make aims to inspire the engineers of tomorrow. The company is supported by the Nominet Trust and Bethnal Green Ventures, and is part of the Open Data Institute startup programme. Contact Becky Fishman: becky@icanmake.co

About Tower Bridge Learning

The Learning Programme at Tower Bridge aims to provide dynamic, cross- curricular workshops and learning sessions for Key Stage 2 pupils. Through hands-on activities, teachers and students alike can explore Tower Bridge’s fascinating history and engineering story – from its Victorian roots to its modern day context. To book a workshop and for more information about your school visit please contact the Learning and Community Engagement team on +44 (0) 20 7940 8397 or via email learning@towerbridge.org.uk.

Notes to Editors:

Tower Bridge

  • Tower Bridge was the creation of architect Sir Horace Jones and civil engineer Sir John Wolfe Barry. It took eight years to complete and was officially opened on 30 June 1894 by the Prince and Princess of Wales (the future King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra)
  • Tower Bridge Exhibition opening hours:
  • Summer Opening Hours: April - September 10:00 - 17:30 (last admission)
  • Winter Opening Hours: October - March 09:30 - 17:00 (last admission)
  • Group Admission prices are: adults £7.65, children aged 5-15 £3.40. The nearest underground stations are London Bridge or Tower Hill.
  • Specific to UK primary schools: for every group of 10 children, one adult is entitled to complimentary admission
  • The new Learning Programme sessions must be booked a minimum of two weeks in advance and are included at the normal group visit rate.
  • For more information, visit: www.towerbridge.org.uk