Home with your kids? Teach them design & engineering!

One of the biggest impacts of COVID-19 has been the closure of many schools all over the world. I am on the board of a K-8 charter school, and we were among the first in our state to announce a move to remote learning late in early March. Soon thereafter, our governor mandated all schools to close, as did states all over the US.

My three boys are high school aged, and their schools quickly rolled out virtual learning to keep them busy and on top of their curriculum. In a group chat with my high school friends, however, I’ve discovered that I’m more fortunate than many parents. These women have elementary aged children and most of their districts did not immediately, or at all, provide a daily curriculum. Through our chat, these moms are sharing ideas with one another, taking what they’re discovering from their networks and social media. I added an idea for them today: SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids. Knowing many of the readers of this blog are also home working while trying to entertain and educate their own children, I wanted to spread the same information here!

SOLIDWORKS has been creating 2D and 3D design solutions for professional designers and engineers for over 20 years. A few years back, we launched SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids to help teach kids ages 4-14 to learn about design, engineering, creativity and making things in a fun, easy, and friendly environment. SOLIDWORKS users are passionate about their work – but also about their families. SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids offers a way to bridge these passions.

Our current global situation is leading to a lot of time at home and time away from traditional in-person learning.  A silver lining is that it’s a great time for anyone – SOLIDWORKS users or anyone wishing to bring STEM education to the next generation – to help expand a love for design and engineering to a young audience.

A dedicated page for parents and guardians offers a host of opportunities for kids to have fun, learn and get inspired. There are a lot of videos for them to watch to learn more – from the basics to more detailed functionality as their skill level improves and curiosity skyrockets! Here is an overview:

The ecosystem of apps walks young children through five main phases of design and engineering: Capture, Shape, Style, Mech and Print.  This introduces the kids to real-world workflow practices like ideation, creation, enhancement, and production. They can create their own objects, or “riff” on existing ones provided by other users. They can print 2D sheets to color by number, or print a version as a paper cube – and if you happen to have a 3D printer, you can print that way as well.

This is just a sampling of what Apps for Kids offers. We invite you to visit here to learn more and be inspired. We wish you all the best during this time, and hope this offers you and your children some ideas for learning now or later.


 

Alyssa Ross

Alyssa Ross

Alyssa is a Communications Director on the Dassault Systèmes Corporate Publishing team. She’s been part of DS for over 18 years, in roles ranging from public relations to marketing programs. Twitter: @DS_Alyssa