Hobgoblin inspires STEM futures



Pic Caption (l-r) runner-up Cameron Cadman, 14, Foundation for Jobs co-ordinator Owen McAteer, Isabel Appleby, 14, with her winning design, STEM teacher Dennis Kwok and runner-up Chloe Bushby, 13. Picture by Ian Lamming

A FANTASY games based company is inspiring a new generation with its involvement in Foundation for Jobs projects aimed at demonstrating the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) subjects to future careers.

Hobgoblin 3D, which creates blueprints of characters and assets for Dungeons and Dragons style games that can then be downloaded and printed on 3D printers in enthusiasts own homes, challenged pupils at Darlington schools to design a fantasy character with a full backstory, which they then created a blueprint for.

Companies are increasingly using 3D printing technology to design and prototype, so crossovers between art and science are likely to become more commonplace as highlighted in a report last year by The Future Laboratory and Microsoft called Future-proof yourself: Tomorrow’s Jobs which claimed that, “65 per cent of today’s students will be doing jobs that don’t even exist yet,” and most of these will require a knowledge of STEM.

The winning design was produced by Wyvern School pupil Isabel Appleby, 14, who will see her character Manny turned into a fully painted figurine.

Isabel, 14, said: “I love painting, drawing and art and it is great to know I can take that as an option and it also links into science. “

Two of her classmates were also runners up in the competition and one Chloe Bushby, 13, added: “I think these sorts of competitions make STEM more exciting.

Fellow pupil Cameron Cadman, 14, added: “It shows how important STEM is and gives more awareness of how STEM is all around us.”

STEM lead Dennis Kwok said: “I think they did the school proud, it is an example of the calibre of student we have in Wyvern, our STEM provision over the last year has really expanded and it is great to see these ideas coming out.”

Hobgoblin 3D managing director Kevin Miree, who founded the company 14 months ago with his business partners Jordan Knights and Lawrence Williams, said: “When you consider that we’re now at a point where manufacturing has gone full circle, and the potential for micro businesses like ours to operate on a purely digital method of  ‘Just-inTime’, distributed manufacturing, it really bodes well for the opportunities in the coming decades. Those leaving schools, colleges, and universities are the most empowered generation to date. With innovative tech solutions, along with the right mindset, that ability to be creative, to see how things connect and then to apply that to developing effective solutions, that opens up so many possibilities for the types of career paths that will arise as a result.”

It has been a successful first year for Hobgoblin 3D which won a place on the Launchpad FUEL programme, which offers Teesside graduates who are in the early stages of developing a business idea up to £10,000 worth of grant funding, as well as receiving assistance from the DigitalCity Fellowship programme, which offers entrepreneurs with innovative businesses up to £5,000 to support their business expenses during the initial development stage.

The national award winning Foundation for Jobs, which aims to inspire young people’s interest in the industry sectors which are set to create the most jobs in Darlington and the Tees Valley over the coming years by linking education with industry is Funded by The Careers and Enterprise Company and led by Darlington Borough Council and the Darlington Partnership of private firms and public sector organisations. It has worked with around 8,000 young people since it was launched in January 2012.

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