We live in a world that is growing increasingly difficult for our children. With economic and environmental issues growing and where political agenda virtually forgets our children, they will one day grow up to be part of a forgotten generation with no say in how their lives are played out.
I am an engineer. I currently do design work for 3d printing, I firmly believe 3d printing, given the right care it needs, will be our children's 'industrial revolution' with one exception, this time they wont create an unfair economic system and they won't destroy the planet that we have destroyed for them. So to nurture this, I have created an environment to give children the tools and guidance they need to solve the problems we failed to. Technology if used right can be a great gift, and children have the most amazing imaginations, I wish to give them the tools to expand, to grow in a way that schools cannot cater for, to light a little flame of interest in our children.
I plan on doing this in the form of a 'shop'. Children and adults can come to the shop and use specially adapted computers and electronic equipment to tinker with and create items they so wish. To aid in the educational problem solving aspect, a 'Problem of the week' will be introduced to give the children a goal. The children, and adults will then be able to create prototypes of their inventions on a '3d printing farm', a bank of 3d printers used in-store to create. The business side would support itself by the sale of 3d printer perishables and the like. For the more mature, experienced tinkerers just looking for a nice environment to tinker, adults that have an interest, I would be looking to introduce a membership, which grants discount on in-store products and allows unhindered access to a printer, this would help to pay for the resource needs of perishables used by the children.
The store would be available for all to use and use of the 3d printers would be available also for professional services such as rapid prototyping, which would give children an insight into business processes. For the children that excel and their ideas pass a feasibility test, they will have the chance to develop their ideas further in store and receive aid into realising their creations full potential. I plan to open store in mid-October, this allows time for schools to be involved in the process and the public and charities for children to be made aware also and can work with the store to plan tailored educational events. Outreach work to engage an audience would be a constant theme, placements in schools and youth clubs to get people engaged.
The first store would be based in central/east London, where rent prices are high but some of the most disadvantaged children reside. This would be the first store of its kind that takes an emerging technology and makes it available to everyone before it becomes another giant industry inaccessible to the most important members of our society, our children.
I believe if we educate our children in a way that suits modern life, as opposed to centuries old tradition, we will give our children every chance to grow, and not get left behind in a system that only caters to a few. I think its time we grew a revolution at grass roots level for a change, rather than adapting to a system that is unfair for so many.