Ana Moreira hails from Faro, the largest city in the Algarve province in southern Portugal. Over the years, she has studied both electronics and biology at university and worked in the IT industry in various areas.
When a job as a digital art educator became available at the kulturskolan in Malå, she didn't hesitate to take it.
– This is one of my favorite areas. I love teaching this technology and seeing how people develop their creative skills, says Ana.
Sorsele kulturskola also wanted to join the project in Malå, and Ana is working part-time at both locations until the end of the autumn semester.
Her role is to help children and adults unleash their creativity and go from idea to product.
– In Malå, they were early adopters. They have been offering digital design since the fall semester of 2019. There is a lot of interest among the students at Nilaskolan, as well as among adults, whom I also teach 3D printing. More than half of the participating students in Malå are girls, says Ana.
Throughout kulturskolan's premises you can see traces of the students' creations, which show a lot of creativity. There is everything from clocks to fountains.
– One of the students has even created a model of a skate park that he hopes will become a reality here in Malå in the future, says Ana, holding up the model.
During the interview, Senay Abraham, a grade 5 student, walks into the 3D room to pick up a flute he printed on one of the school's four 3D printers.
– It's really fun to work with, says Senay as he assembles the parts of the red flute.
3D printing is a manufacturing technique that creates three-dimensional products by printing vertically, layer by layer. The outputs are generated from data files and can be made of different materials.
– By experimenting with 3D printing in combination with other concepts within STEAM, which stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics, students not only develop their creativity and innovation skills, but also other skills that prepare them for different types of careers, says Ana Moreira.
This includes the use of strategy combined with mindfulness, which she says improves their cognitive knowledge, emotional intelligence, and overall well-being.
– Here they have the freedom to express themselves and feel safe in their creative process without having to worry about exams, says Ana.
She has recently started her own company, Nordic Dynamics AB, where she will conduct different types of STEAM education.
– I have already started with on-site and digital education with students from Sorsele. The students participate digitally and print their products in the municipality building. I'm also working with the library in Malå to introduce a 3D printing program that is open to all municipalities in Sweden.
This includes training teachers and librarians to introduce citizens to the world of STEAM through 3D printing.
To prepare for the launch of her company, she completed Företagarskolan 4.0, organized by the municipality of Malå.
– It was very useful and now I'm ready to work full-time in my own company, concludes Ana.
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a technique in which a physical object is created from a digital model. It involves the layer-by-layer deposition of a material, such as plastic or metal, to form the final product. 3D printing allows for the creation of complex and customized shapes that would be difficult or impossible to produce through traditional manufacturing methods.