Local schools turn to the digital world to curb plastic waste in Samoa

By Kate Hassett

Local schools turn to the digital world to curb plastic waste in Samoa
Students in lower decile schools will now have access to 3D printing programs that will revolutionise recycling in Samoa.

In a project developed by a Victoria University of Wellington student, IT and digital technology classrooms in lower decile schools will be taught innovative ways to change Samoa for the better.

Lionel Taito-Matamua, a masters student, will implement the year-long project starting with year 9 and 10 students from Taita College.

The students in this lower decile school will have an unprecedented opportunity to be at the forefront of innovative technology, when they learn how to use 3D technology.

“As time progresses, and the students become comfortable using the software, we will introduce them to 3D printing and get them thinking about the potential of recycling plastics,” says Lionel.

Despite the growing waste problems in Samoa, those interested in recycling still do not have adequate machinery to process the material, adding to the 760,000 tonnes of recyclable waste that goes untreated.

If the initial lesson plans are successful then Lionel’s project will see a nation wide roll-out within the next two years.

The project, entitled Renewing Materials was inspired by a trip to Samoa where Lionel witnessed the huge and dangerous impact, plastic waste is having on the island.

Not only will this program teach students, who would otherwise not have access to advanced technology like this, vital skills to better their community, but Lionel is hoping these lessons will inspire more students to seek tertiary education in science and design.

“This would in turn be the catalyst for the establishment of new industries and companies in the Pacific based around 3D printing.”





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