Autodesk Outlines Education Support
2/26/2007—Autodesk, the developer of CAD, post-production, and 3D animation tools, has laid out plans for its support of education in the coming year. The company announced several initiatives impacting K-12 education, in particular investments supporting STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math).
At the company's first-annual World Press Day event, held earlier this month, Autodesk highlighted initiatives targeted toward the teaching of STEM subjects and support of teaching through software, funding, and competitions for students.
"Due to the gradual and subtle effects of globalization, the United States has seen a steady decline in engineering and manufacturing jobs," that company said in a prepared statement. "This means that now is a crucial time for leaders in the business community to invest in education."
To this end, the company released a list of priorities for the coming year, which include:
- Investment in Project Lead the Way, a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of pre-engineering instruction for middle- and high-school students. About 1,800 schools in the United States are presently involved in Project Lead the Way, impacting some 175,000 students in grades 6 through 12. Schools involved in the project offer pre-engineering courses, to which Autodesk donates its 3D programs.
- Support of the FIRST Robotics Competition, in which students use Autodesk visualization tools to create robots. Autodesk donated about $17 million in software and support to the program this year.
- Contributions to primary, secondary and higher education institutions through Autodesk technology and academic solutions such as Autodesk Design Institute, Autodesk Design Academy, Autodesk DesignKids and Autodesk Animation Academy software offerings. DesignKids and Design Academy provide resources for middle- and high-school educators teaching math and science through applied design.
- Continued support for design and engineering students through Autodesk's Student Engineering and Design Community, which provides free software to students and educators, as well as additional resources, such as tutorials, community discussion forums, and career development resources. (The Student Engineering and Design Community is also sponsoring a student design contest, which is pen through May 1. See link below.)
"Autodesk will continue to support education initiatives by investing in important programs that encourage students of all ages to take an interest in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM," according to a document released by the company.
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About the author: Dave Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's educational technology online publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at [email protected].
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