Irish Department Of Education And Science Purchases 25,000 Licenses Of SolidWorks Education Edition Software To Expand Technology Education In Second Level Schools
The Irish Department of Education and Science has purchased 25,000 licenses of SolidWorks® Education Edition software to expand technology education in second level schools and grow the pool of skilled local engineers. Students between 12- and 18-years old in 550 schools will learn SolidWorks in four technology subjects.
This announcement underscores Europe’s rapidly increasing adoption of SolidWorks software as an effective tool for teaching students the design and engineering skills they’ll use in professional careers. SolidWorks Education Edition is the standard for teaching students CAD fundamentals in Norway, Northern Ireland, and France, and has been deployed in major school districts in Germany and Spain.
Investing in the future
t4 - Technology Subjects Support Service, Ireland’s teacher support and training division for technology education in the Irish Department of Education, chose SolidWorks because its intuitive interface will allow students to quickly grasp design and engineering principles so they spend more time creating 3D models than learning software. Ireland’s Minister for Education and Science, Mary Hanafin, made €40 million ($53.4 million) available for a progressive, phased-in curriculum featuring four subjects to be taught in second level schools, including: Technology, Design and Communication Graphics, Architectural Technology, and Engineering Technology. The new initiative also includes money for 4,500 Dell® Precision Workstation PCs and M65 Laptops which will come pre-imaged with SolidWorks, Microsoft® Learning Suite software, and antivirus on every PC.
“The use of SolidWorks represents a very significant advance in the provision of information and communications technology (ICT) in Irish schools and will ensure that students of technology subjects and their teachers have access to resources and facilities on a par with any world-leading education systems,” said t4 National Coordinator Paddy Keays. “SolidWorks has a fast learning curve, and that’s very important when teaching CAD skills and design and engineering concepts to 12- to 18-year-old students. Our students will have the freedom to design projects and easily change and manipulate their models to investigate ‘what if’ scenarios which will prepare them for the fast-changing technological society. It will also allow us to use the software to communicate previously abstract concepts.”
t4 has already begun training 2,000 teachers throughout the country on how to effectively teach SolidWorks in the new curricula. The second level schools (similar to middle and high schools in the U.S.) will begin teaching SolidWorks software next September. Students will also learn fundamental analysis concepts with COSMOS® design analysis software, which will allow them to see how their projects will handle a variety of forces. Educators will be able to provide students relevant applications in mathematics and science through virtual simulation tools that explore topics like stress on bridges, air flow over cars, and the motion of physical systems.
Authorized SolidWorks reseller Solid Solutions Ireland played a critical role in working with t4 to deploy the right CAD software for the project and coordinating the country-wide teacher training that will be the backbone of every classroom lesson involving SolidWorks. Solid Solutions Ireland will also provide the ongoing support that t4 and all participating schools need.
“The Irish Department of Education has taken an aggressive approach to fuel student interest in technology and CAD in hopes of growing the pool of locally skilled engineers,” said SolidWorks Business Manager Education Europe Lutz Bettels. “This is a significant deal that reinforces global demand for SolidWorks software training in the classroom as preparation for professional careers.”
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