We've developed the world's first low cost open source system for recycling plastic water bottles for 3D printing as well as building 3D printers from recycled e-waste. We plan to trial this technology by producing 100 scientific microscopes, designed by Cambridge University, as an aid for interactive STEM teaching in Kenyan schools. Tools such as microscopes enhance the learning experience, and are taken for granted in developed countries yet in most Kenyan schools are an unaffordable luxury.
Interactive teaching using teaching aids is taken for granted in the developed world and yet in most of Africa, tools such as microscopes, which enhance interactive STEM teaching, are an unaffordable luxury yet a lack of such tools is a barrier to improving educational attainment.
The project will trial the use of groundbreaking technology, developed by TechforTrade through a long term project called Digital Blacksmiths, to produce educational tools, starting with a scientific microscope, that can be made from 3D printed material made from recycled plastic (PET) bottles which are found in abundance in developing countries. During the trial we will monitor the impact on educational attainment that access to such tools delivers.
We believe that if the trial is successful, it will stimulate interest within the education sector which will justify scaling up local production of educational tools such as microscopes and other interactive learning aids. In addition to improving educational attainment, we envisage other longer term benefits, such as a reduction in plastic waste through upcycling and reuse, new job opportunities in the production of these educational tools and wider 3d printing applications in other fields.