Plastic in Practice: An empirical approach to 3D printed upcycling in New Zealand schools
Plastic has become an integral material in our society due to the broad range of applications it can be used for, however, it is having a detrimental effect on our environment. In addition to more efficient waste management systems, a cultural shift through education is fundamental for more effective management of plastic waste. Although the New Zealand National Curriculum currently teaches students about sustainability, the method of teaching remains conventional and does not explore the empirical, tactile learning opportunities that 3D printing provides. This research portfolio proposes the importance of an education programme which focuses on plastic waste, upcycling and 3D printing in New Zealand schools. It explores how tangible learning can engage students more effectively with topics such as sustainability. Through collaborating with students and teachers, participatory research methods have been employed in order to form a foundation for an education programme focused on 3D printed upcycling within New Zealand. The final output of this research consists of an education programme proposal, as well as a series of projects which could be integrated into the programme.