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This is a guest blog from Chris Smith, Maths, Science and Technology Lead Practitioner, STEM and IBCC Coordinator at RSA Academy in Tipton.  Chris explains how RSA Academy in Tipton have played a key role in the success of this inter-school competition. 

The winning team from Broadway School with the judges and their teachers
The winning team from Broadway School with the judges and their teachers

 

Back in January 2013 a number of RSA Fellows met at Weston Beamor in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter to look at how 3D printing is being used by Weston Beamor in the production of their jewellery products.  They wanted to find a vehicle to promote this new technology and extend its use in schools, after numerous meetings it was decided that RSA Academy in Tipton would coordinate a jewellery design competition for the RSA Family of Academies and those looking to become part of the RSA Family.

Whitley Academy, Arrow Vale RSA Academy, RSA Academy and Broadway School were invited to the launch on 21 January 2014 at the RSA Academy.  The brief was to design a lapel pin/badge suitable for the Principals of the RSA Academies to wear – therefore it had to be suitable for both men and women to wear.

On the launch day Natasha Bagnall and Glen Day of Weston Beamor joined us and gave us a great introduction to the project and to Weston Beamor’s work of designing and producing high quality jewellery. Birmingham City University also gave students an inspirational talk about how you can become a jewellery designer.  RSA Academy staff, Miss Williams and Miss Birkinshaw guided students through a range of activities to support their design skills. Jing Lu of Black Country Atelier demonstrated 3D Printing and Natasha showcased how she develops jewellery designs. Each school was given a pack of starter materials for the project.

To further support the project Birmingham City University offered a number of their jewellery undergraduates to support each school.  RSA Academy hosted Hang Yuan Zhang and Qian (CiCi) Zhang for 6 sessions. They worked with our design teams and gave the students a lot of very helpful advice and support.

On the 25th June we held the celebration event, again at the RSA Academy. We were lucky enough to have two expert judges: Natasha from Weston Beamor and RSA Fellow, Bill Good.  For the celebration event and judging each school’s team had to display its design work and complete a 5 minute presentation to the other schools about their journey through the project.  They then made a 10 minute individual presentation to the judges to enable a more in-depth discussion about their work to take place.  The judges were  incredibly impressed with the work each school had produced and the different ways in which each team had developed its designs and interpreted the brief.

The judges had a very difficult time finding a winner due to the diversity of the work, but eventually the winners were announced:

1st place: Broadway School

2nd place: Whitley Academy

3rd place: RSA Academy

The winning team from Broadway School will be in contact with Weston Beamor to discuss how their design will be manufactured.  All teams received certificates of participation and gift vouchers.  We hope to develop the design project to run annually with a different theme hosted at a different Academy each year.

With many thanks to Weston Beamor

 

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