Software

Autodesk Offers Design Software Free to Secondary, Post-Secondary Schools

Autodesk has released its design software free to students, instructors and educational institutions anywhere in the world.

"The way we make things is changing rapidly, and we need a workforce ready to design for new manufacturing and construction techniques. By providing free professional design tools to students, faculty members and academic institutions around the world, we're helping get industry ready for the next phase," said Carl Bass, Autodesk CEO, in a prepared statement.

Available to secondary and post-secondary schools, the offer follows the company's February release of $250 million in 3D design software and project-based curricula for middle schools and high schools in the United States as part of President Obama's ConnectED initiative.

The company "is also helping schools move to the cloud by providing academic institutions with its full suite of next generation cloud-based design products, cloud services such as the A360 collaboration platform, as well as maintenance subscription for free," according to a news release.

Students at Swanson Middle School have used Autodesk tools to help create a tool designed to help a local man with disabilities use a touchscreen to communicate and college students have used them to design environmentally sustainable homes for an international competition.

In an effort to help educators integrate the tools, the company is also offering free resources and content for project-based learning via its Digital STEAM Workshop and Design Academy initiatives.

"Our students are using Fusion 360 to design an energy scooter which we are bringing to market via Kickstarter, and they're only in 8th grade! If we can help more classroom teachers incorporate learning through design in their curriculum, and technologies that engage students in problem-solving through engineering, students will see how math and science are springboards to careers as future innovators and entrepreneurs," said Karen Kaun, founder of Makeosity, in a prepared statement.

More information is available at autodesk.com.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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