A selected group of 9 student leaders from Hong Kah and Regent Secondary School was mentored by educators from STEM Inc for a period of 4 months. Within this period, the students equipped themselves with the necessary skill sets to create products of their own designs. The products include STEM elements such as electronic components and/or digital fabrication.
As a start, the student leaders were tasked to design several items that they can sell as Teachers’ Day gifts. With that purpose and objective in mind, the students started their fabrication journey by attending several workshops at the new Digital Fabrication Space (DFS) in Science Centre Singapore. These students had the privilege to undergo several DFS workshops where they learnt how to: -
1) Use CAD software to sketch & design 3D and/ or 2D objects.
2) Use 3D printers to create simple 3D printed objects - Seeing their 3D objects in CAD file come to life.
3) Use laser cutting machine to cut and engrave simple objects from acrylic.
4) Design basic printed circuit boards (PCB) for fabrication.
5) Solder electronic components on to PCBs.
6) Use of heat press machine to transfer printed images to materials such as acrylic, metal, wood or canvas.
On top of the workshop sessions, the students also attended regular mentoring sessions conducted by the educators who provided ongoing advice on the fabrication process and monitored their progress.
Through this whole process, the students were equipped with core fundamental con¬tent on how to use CAD platforms and operate several digital fabrication machines. They also saw their digital designs came to life, ready for commercialisation. The students were very excited with this new experience and found it very worthwhile. From the results of their effort, it is very encouraging to know the students have gained invaluable experience from the programme – from planning to selling their products.
"Teamwork is important. Occasionally, some of the team members could not make it for the meet-ups and it was hard for those who turned up to do the work alone" - Chanelle, student.
"The sale of our products was not successful as it was not a necessity for many. It was also quite pricey" - Farhaanah, student.
The STEM Coop Club initiative is a collaboration between SNCF (Singapore National Co-operative Federation) and Science Centre Singapore. The clubs provide our youth with the opportunity to gain valuable experience in applied learning and entrepreneurial dare where they create their very own products and market it to their target audience.
Written by: Vincent Ng Choon Hui (Education Officer)