Award-Winning Autodesk Student Engineering and Design Community Now Available for Middle- and High-School Students and Teachers
Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) announced today at the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) the launch of its new online community designed to enhance middle- and high-school student learning in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
“Autodesk created this community to support a number of STEM initiatives happening throughout the country, such as Project Lead the Way and FIRST Robotics,” said Paul Mailhot, senior director of worldwide education programs at Autodesk. “We hope teachers will take advantage of resources on the community site to help them integrate relevant and engaging projects in the classroom. And we hope that students who explore the site will realize how exciting design and engineering can be.”
Teachers who join the Autodesk Student Engineering and Design Community get access to popular 2D and 3D design software and teaching and learning resources that will enable them to become familiar with new design technology and incorporate project-based learning into the classroom. Teacher members also have the opportunity to share coursework and discuss projects and best practices with peers to find the best ways to inspire their students.
Middle- and high-school students who join the community will benefit from access to the same 3D design software used by industry professionals, and gain general exposure to the fields of architecture, construction, mechanical engineering, industrial design, civil engineering, animation and gaming. In addition to free(a) student versions of Autodesk software, the community provides students with tutorials for these applications, a “getting started” area and information about design-related college and career paths.
The new secondary community is a natural extension of the Autodesk Student Engineering and Design Community for post-secondary educators and students, which won a CODiE award from the Software and Information Industry Association. More than 95,000 members from 82 countries have taken advantage of free product downloads and learning tools on the community since the site launched in September 2006. Autodesk received requests for a similar community from middle- and high-school teachers for their younger students, who have showed enthusiasm in learning about the world of design.
“My students have been asking me for access to the Autodesk student community since it launched last September,” said Jeremie Meyer, an engineering teacher at Preble High School in Green Bay, Wisconsin. “Kids want to know what to expect in college, but they are also very interested in what’s happening in the professional world. This community is a terrific resource for them.”
Autodesk understands that it takes more than integrating technology into the classroom to engage and motivate students to learn challenging STEM concepts. A recent study by the U.S. Department of Education on the effectiveness of technology in the classroom proved that teachers need adequate training and support in order to effectively use technology to improve student performance. The Autodesk Student Engineering and Design Community provides much-needed assistance for middle- and high-school teachers looking to learn design software by providing step-by-step tutorials that teachers can access from any computer with an internet connection.
“Teachers’ jobs are hard enough without having to learn new technology, which can be intimidating,” said Mailhot. “Autodesk hopes this community will develop into a support network for teachers, where they can explore resource materials and connect with peers to share teaching tips, such as how to keep kids motivated and engaged in the classroom. We also designed the site to make learning new software less challenging, so teachers can focus on what really counts in the classroom–teaching.”
The Autodesk Student Engineering and Design Community supports a number of education initiatives created to help educators prepare the next generation of engineering and design talent. One of these programs is Project Lead the Way (PLTW), a national pre-engineering program that offers pre-engineering and science curricula for middle- and high-school students. Autodesk has partnered with PLTW to increase the quantity, quality and diversity of engineers and engineering technologists graduating from the U.S. educational system. In the 2006-2007 school year, more than 175,000 middle- and high-school students were enrolled in PLTW courses at more than 2,000 schools throughout the United States.
“Both Project Lead the Way and Autodesk are committed to preparing the nation’s future technical workforce through better STEM education,” said Niel Tebbano, vice president, PLTW. “Our partnership offers a powerful instructional dynamic that benefits students and educators, and we are pleased that the new Autodesk community will further support our mission.”
To sign up for this new community, participants can register online with a school-issued e-mail address. Students without a school-issued e-mail address can still access the community by asking one of their school’s faculty members to join. The faculty member can then authorize access for participating students without a school-issued e-mail address. Middle- and high-school teachers and students can register now at www.autodesk.com/school.
As an exhibitor at this year’s NECC, Autodesk will demonstrate the new online community June 25 — 27, at booth 2616 in the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Teachers and school administrators in attendance will have the opportunity to join the new community.
About Autodesk Education
Autodesk supports worldwide academic achievement and lifelong learning by providing 2D and 3D solutions for teaching and learning design in the fields of manufacturing, industrial design, architecture, construction, civil engineering, and media and entertainment. Autodesk is committed to helping the next generation of engineers, architects and designers experience their ideas before they are real by making state-of-the-art digital prototyping solutions available inside and outside of the classroom through substantial discounts, subscriptions, grant programs, training, curricula development and community resources. For more information about Autodesk education programs and solutions, visit www.autodesk.com/education.
Autodesk, Inc. is the world leader in 2D and 3DÂ design software for the manufacturing, building and construction, and media and entertainment markets. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk has developed the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art digital prototyping solutions to help customers experience their ideas before they are real. Fortune 1000 companies rely on Autodesk for the tools to visualize, simulate and analyze real-world performance early in the design process to save time and money, enhance quality and foster innovation. For additional information about Autodesk, visit www.autodesk.com.
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