“Senior School”: Russia`s First Social Project on 3D-Modeling for Elderly People

NUST MISIS, Nekrasov Library, and “InventBureau” have launched the pilot of Russia`s first social project to teach 3D-modeling and 3D-printing techniques to the elderly.

The “Senior School” project started on August 6th, 2018, and consists of several modules: a two-day theoretical lecture and workshop on 3D-modelling at the NUST MISIS FabLab, a tour of SMART-library, a 3D printing of each student’s work, and a final virtual reality exhibition-tour.

On July 7th, 2018, NUST MISIS held a master-class on 3D-modeling at the FabLab Digital Lab. The Lab is also engaged in the final 3D-printing of the participants` work as part of the “Senior School” project. The NUST MISIS FabLab has been promoting digital productions and the maker movement since 2012, but this is the first project designed for the elderly.

“We are constantly working with children — getting them familiar with digital production and teaching them how to work with programs and equipment. People of any age can visit our lab on ‘open doors’ days and learn more about our FabLab or get access to necessary resources, but working with an audience of the ‘third age’ is a new and interesting experience for us. However, we don’t have our own educational programs for adults. We hope that the ‘Senior School’ project will continue, and we will support it and act as a technological platform for its implementation”, commented Anna Vakulik, deputy director of the NUST MISIS FabLab.

As part of the 3D-modeling class, the participants, led by Ilya Sobol, founder of “InventBureau”, worked with the Autodesk Fusion 360, at first designing simple things and then moving on to more complex models.

“Educating elderly people is currently an empty niche, especially in the technological sphere. I would like adults who have a lot of free time, good life experience, and an open mind to have the same opportunities that, for example, children have. This is also important for children as they often go into environments where adults do not know how to work with technologies. That’s why it`s important and necessary to develop this field simultaneously and from different angles”, said Ilya Sobol, instructor of the Senior School project and founder of “InventBureau.

“When I leave my permanent job, I will have a lot of free time and surely I’ll need something to fill it. I am looking for some kind of activity that I would really enjoy and that will allow me to earn extra money. For example, I am interested in working with social networks and blogging. But that is already relatively familiar for me, and now I want to try my [hand] at something completely new, so I picked 3D-modeling. Yesterday, we had a lecture on working with programs, and today I was able to design my initials in 3D. I think I`m learning pretty fast”, mused Galina Zhurdan, economist and lecturer at the Moscow University for the Humanities, while sharing her experience with the project.

The permanent exhibition of participants` work will open on August 21st, 2018, at the SMART-library.