Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. says toys and games help build engineering skills in kids for a lifetime.
Marie Planchard, DS SolidWorks’ director of world education markets says that building even the simplest creation from scratch introduces kids to principles of geometry and physics in action.
She adds that when geometry and physics can make or break a project, be it a LEGO car, robot or autonomous undersea vehicle for competition, suddenly math and science are more than problems on a page, they’re the keys to the kingdom, a thinking employed by engineers every day.
To that end, DS SolidWorks has introduced two new free tutorial programs for creating LEGO cars and sophisticated robots with SolidWorks CAD software.
The tutorials include a dozen lessons, videos and part models for download. Projects range from elementary through college level, with straightforward instructions supporting those without prior SolidWorks experience.
As students learn the foundation of physics and engineering, they gain instant proficiency in the world’s most widely used 3D design software, and are progressively introduced to higher-level math and physics principles via integrated SolidWorks capabilities such as simulation.
Planchard says that the world is full of intelligent tactile learners who need to do, touch and make things, whether virtually on a SolidWorks screen or in their garage.
Planchard’s team articulated these messages at the inaugural USA Science and Engineering Festival recently in Washington, DC.
With the help of SolidWorks partner, the STEM Academy, thousands of students raced dragsters and built their own elastic materials.
Competing in LEGOs and beyond
DS SolidWorks has shipped nearly a million educational software licenses and sponsors a wide range of student activities including:
Designed for civil engineering students, the contest involves designing, making and racing a vessel, relying on stress and flow analysis in SolidWorks Simulation software.
The contest is sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
Students design, build and race solar-powered boats using SolidWorks Sustainability software.
Structural Steel Bridge
The structural engineering competition requires design, fabrication and analysis of a scale steel bridge.
The contest is sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction.
This multidisciplinary competition involves college and high school students creating autonomous unmanned vehicles for the land and sea, drawing upon simulation, electronics, software and mechanical systems.
The contest is sponsored by the Association for Unmanned Vehicles International and the Marine Advanced Technology Center (MATE).
High school and college students design, build and race Formula-style cars as well as hybrid, aero and snowmobile vehicles.
The contest is sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers.
This is the premier high school robotics competition where students design, build and put robots to the test.
The contest was created by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.
FIRST LEGO League
This is a robotics program for 9- to 16-year-olds (9 to 14 in the US and Canada).
MIT Lemelson InvenTeams
InvenTeams are teams of high school students, teachers and mentors that receive grants up to $10,000 each to invent technological solutions to real-world problems.
Dassault Systèmes CAD products are available in Australia through Solidtec Solutions- SolidWorks 3D CAD .