20 Replies Latest reply on Nov 27, 2017 1:22 PM by Kevin Chandler

    SolidWorks in Elementary School

    Marya Belanger

      The administration at the ELEMENTARY school where I teach computer classes is insisting I teach 1st-6th to use SolidWorks.

      I think its not for kids, and that it would take me a long. long time to learn how to use it.

      Thoughts?

        • Re: SolidWorks in Elementary School
          Bjorn Hulman

          Hi Marya,

          what kind of drawing are they wishing to teach? If you think SolidWorks is not suitable, perhaps the Adobe creative suite might be more appropriate? Illustrator and Photoshop are 2 useful tools used universally across many professions.

           

          If they want to go 3D, Sketchup is a good place to start.

          • Re: SolidWorks in Elementary School
            David Durston

            Marya Belanger

            It may be possible that the administration have seen SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids (http://www.swappsforkids.com/) which is a SOLIDWORKS product but is not the full blown engineering tool.

            Apps for kids does allow drawing and 3D modelling so it would be worth having a look at either way.

             

            David

             

            P.s. The standard time for the basic SOLIDWORKS (full version) training course is 5 days, so it wouldn't expect it to take you a long long time to learn to use it! Also SOLIDWORKS can help provide teaching materials for educational establishments (http://www.solidworks.com/sw/education/educator-edition.htm)

              • Re: SolidWorks in Elementary School
                J. Mather

                David Durston wrote:

                P.s. The standard time for the basic SOLIDWORKS (full version) training course is 5 days, so it wouldn't expect it to take you a long long time to learn to use it!

                Uhmm, I'm 15 years in and still getting the hang of SolidWorks.  After my initial 5 day instruction back in 2002, I was not ready to teach others.  Would you hire someone at your place of business have them complete the 5 day course and then expect them to teach the same course next week?

                I would say it took me a minimum of 3 months to get halfway good and probably close to 3 years to feel comfortable.

                Maybe I am just slow.

                 

                Marya Belanger

                I think it is important for the instructor to be professionally prepared.

                I teach at the college level, but I often have school groups come through for various career day introductions.

                I have some canned labs that I go through with kids as young as 6th grade, and they manage to do some quite complex work, but it is important (to me anyhow) that the exercises are very structured and the instructor is experienced in the software in order to successfully pull this off.  I am rather bothered by the practice of throwing instructors into the deep end without proper preparation.  I see this wayyyy too often.

              • Re: SolidWorks in Elementary School
                Deepak Gupta

                Marya Belanger wrote:

                 

                Every engineer I know has told me its a bad idea/impossible.

                Well it is not. I recall a memory where class 4 or 5 kids used SOLIDWORKS to verify their maths answer. Like drawing a triangle and getting the values for area /perimeter and checking their answer. So it is not true that SOLIDWORKS is only for drawings or engineers. The limit is on your imagination as how you want to use the tool.

                 

                To add further on that, do you know SOLIDWORKS is also used to create painting/art piece. Believe me it is true; check some awesome art work (all done in SOLIDWORKS) here SolidWorks Art Work - By Request  by John Stoltzfus

                  • Re: SolidWorks in Elementary School
                    Dennis Dohogne

                    Deepak Gupta wrote:

                     

                    Marya Belanger wrote:

                     

                    Every engineer I know has told me its a bad idea/impossible.

                    Well it is not. I recall a memory where class 4 or 5 kids used SOLIDWORKS to verify their maths answer. Like drawing a triangle and getting the values for area /perimeter and checking their answer. So it is not true that SOLIDWORKS is only for drawings or engineers. The limit is on your imagination as how you want to use the tool.

                     

                    To add further on that, do you know SOLIDWORKS is also used to create painting/art piece. Believe me it is true; check some awesome art work (all done in SOLIDWORKS) here SolidWorks Art Work - By Request by John Stoltzfus

                    I agree with Deepak.  "The limit is on your imagination as how you want to use the tool."  By the way, I'm an engineer.

                     

                    I had my son going through the tutorials in SWX98+.  He did not understand a lot of the words, but he was able to understand the basic concepts and successfully model the Lego type blocks of the tutorials.  He was in third grade at the time.  He only needed help from me or my wife in understanding a few of the words in the instructions, otherwise he did it on his own.

                     

                    Teaching kids SWX or any other "grown-up" software must consider several things.  First and foremost would be what are the objectives.  Secondly would be what are the necessary qualifications in order to teach it.  In order to answer those you can probably shorten your learning curve by learning from others: other elementary programs that have done this, and other sources of help, such as the reseller that would get you started and of course, the good folks at SWX itself.  For the latter I am going to tag Richard Doyle and Jim Wilkinson as two folks that can probably put you in touch with the right folks at corporate.

                     

                    You do not need any particular math or science background in order to use or teach SWX.  If you, as a teacher, were to go through the tutorials yourself you will be pleased, I think, with the ease with which you will pick it up.

                  • Re: SolidWorks in Elementary School
                    John Stoltzfus

                    Marya Belanger wrote:

                     

                    Every engineer I know has told me its a bad idea/impossible.

                    Thoughts?

                    (I might show this thread to my boss for proof)

                    I would like the names of all the engineers & designers that say SW isn't for elementary school, that way when I need an engineer or a designer I would have an actual list of who not to call or contact.....

                     

                    Thanks for the mention Deepak Gupta

                    • Re: SolidWorks in Elementary School
                      Jaja Jojo

                      I think its not impossible my little brother is just in the 5th grade and his good in fusion 360 but his been using for almost 2 years, I told him to try to learn solidworks so every week end i take home my mobile workstation for him to learn solidworks in just 1 month of learning he molded this but probably it's because his already good in Fusion 360.

                       

                      One way to make them interested in learning Solidworks is to give something introduction that will get there attention and make there blood boil, is to give them an inspiration in the first meeting show them pretty cool model not something like industrial equipment but like models of popular toys after all they are kids still love to play toys.

                      • Re: SolidWorks in Elementary School
                        Paul Salvador

                        imho,.. your students or todays generation is much move advanced and will most likely see how antiquated SolidWorks is as a program and interface compared to other programs.

                        that is, the younger generations I have been much more connected with devices/interfaces/systems/os's/...  and in thinking back how I saw the world when I was learning 3D (>30yrs ago)... I personally see and believe this generation is "way ahead" of most past users in how they approach/learn programs.

                        So.. they should not have a problem.. and sorry,.. (not sure how old you are).. but you will most likely be the limitation of their learning. (not being rude, just being honest)

                        • Re: SolidWorks in Elementary School
                          Dave Bear

                          Hi Marya,

                          I guess my question would be "What do they view as the desired outcome of this venture?"

                          Are they wanting to add this to the curriculum for the purpose of teaching the children CAD specifically, or are they of the opinion that it is a graphics program?

                          Personally myself I have only been using the software for about 18 months and have found it both interesting to learn and rewarding to see things come together (end results), so I imagine the children would be the same. The other side of the coin is that some aspects can be somewhat confusing to learn even for adults, you only need to flick through the forum here for proof of that, so that may pose a big brick wall for some children.

                          As Paul has mentioned though, most young people are so tech-savvy and quick to pick things up that it could prove to be a very fruitful subject.

                           

                          Dave.

                          • Re: SolidWorks in Elementary School
                            Marie Planchard

                            Hi Mayra,

                             

                            We do have examples of young children using SOLIDWORKS in small classroom settings.  What are the outcomes for the class?

                             

                            If it is to teach a design-manufacture process for a 5 year old, then I would look at SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids. www.swappsforkids.com  Kids can create their own model, style and print (both 2D cube print showing orthographic projection of a model, cut out the cube, fold, tape and color by number) and 3D Print in STL output. 

                             

                            We have some talented teachers that have created SOLIDWORKS based exercises for the younger student try - www.cudacountry.net  -   for ideas for 5th graders.  Reading skills are required.    There are projects to build.

                             

                            You could also start with a pre-existing  3D model and have students create a drawing, inserting views and dimensions. 

                             

                            Best Regards, Marie

                            • Re: SolidWorks in Elementary School
                              David Matula

                              Kids will pick this program up and find ways to do things that we have never thought of.  Just look out cause they may cause it to crash a lot more than I do. 

                              The thing to do is to have a good way start teaching the kids how to go from concept to finished product.

                              A few 3d printers to go along with the program would be ideal.

                               

                              Creating a movie is also a possibility for this with the animation.

                              • Re: SolidWorks in Elementary School
                                Paul Risley

                                My youngest son's elementary school was a STEM school with an emphasis on mechanical engineering. They focused heavily on how things are made and what it takes to make things. Critical thinking was encouraged in all classes. Throughout the year they had engineers, designers and other people from the area come in and talk to the classes. I went in once a year to show how engineering and design principles meet in the world of Solidworks and real life.

                                 

                                I brought in my laptop and let the kids "play" with Solidworks as part of my presentation. For the most part after a brief tutorial on planes, origins and the extrusion/ revolve terminology they would make some parts. As an exercise I stored all of their stored files in a folder and at the  end of the presentation made an assembly of all of their parts and moved them around within confined mates. They liked seeing that what they made could be made into something bigger.

                                 

                                I always finished with showing them some random part files, then the sub assemblies those became into the final assembly(Explaining what the assembly was supposed to do.) Then I would show them pictures of the actual parts as made and finally some pictures and videos of the system that we built using the Solidworks model. To date the one that got the most oohs and awws was a Robotic cell. Kids love robots.

                                 

                                As far as an Engineer telling you it is a bad idea. There are plenty of engineers that are great at their job but struggle with using the software of Solidworks. Most kids do not have the same issue, they live on electronic devices. It is a natural tool for them to utilize.

                                • Re: SolidWorks in Elementary School
                                  Steve Calvert

                                  Maybe your school admin is talking about Solidworks Apps for kids.

                                   

                                  SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids

                                   

                                  Steve C

                                  • Re: SolidWorks in Elementary School
                                    Chris Dordoni

                                    The ability to recognize spatial relations varies between individuals. If the intent is to teach in 3D construction, I believe there would be a need to establish who might have difficulty before throwing everyone in the pool.

                                    • Re: SolidWorks in Elementary School
                                      Christian Chu

                                      Actually, I let my kids start playing with SW from 3 and 4th grade just for fun like building lego blocks and putting together with simple mates. I only taught him the concept of plane, line and point so he can understand how  3D objects can be built on computer. Now he's in junior high and started design some simple stuff in robotic class -  I believe it'd help alot !

                                        • Re: SolidWorks in Elementary School
                                          Jody Smith

                                          I wouldn't say it is a bad idea to expose them to SW, but to teach and grade their SW ability at that level would be bad. All of my children were exposed to it at a young (6-10) age (my oldest is 23 and a BSME Mechanical Engineer that uses it professionally). My younger ones (8 and 10) still oohh and ahhh at it when I show them basic stuff, but don't really show any interest in USING it yet, just like my oldest when he was that age. This is a prime age to plant the seed if interest in this type of stuff, for sure.

                                        • Re: SolidWorks in Elementary School
                                          Kevin Chandler

                                          Hello,

                                           

                                          I think the greatest barrier here is the same one you would encounter in any other venue: having a suitable context that captures attention and encourages engagement.

                                           

                                          I'm sure many of us have received training that was of little value principally because it wasn't geared toward our interests or didn't have appropriate training practices.

                                           

                                          As far as them being kiddies, well, they're just little people with little experience (so far).

                                          And a lack of experience isn't a metric for inability.

                                           

                                          Cheers,

                                           

                                          Kevin