Autodesk has pledged to offer secondary schools, vocational institutions and universities in Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) free access to its 3D design software and creativity apps to a value of $25 million.
The vendor has also launched a Design the Future program which provides secondary school teachers with free software training and project-based curricula which integrates software and apps into standard lesson plans.
Autodesk expects the initiatives to assist educators across 3400 schools in teaching critical problem-solving skills and prepare students for careers in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM).
"With free access to Autodesk software, schools can expose students to the technological advancements that are revolutionising the professional world, from Cloud and mobile technologies to 3D printing,” Autodesk education programs manager, Brenton Wyett, said.
Autodesk said it already has a presence across “many A/NZ schools,” including the likes of Melbourne secondary school, the King David School, and Newcastle’s Merewether High School.
The King David School incorporated Autodesk tools into classword, and uses the software to support its First Robotics and CanSat programs.
"We’ve recently expanded the use of Autodesk software in our Physics curriculum by having students design, 3D print and present a space-based observatory as part of their study in multi-wavelength astronomy,” King David School science and technology educator, Milorad Cerovac, said.
“These hands-on learning activities, made possible by partnerships with industry, not only prepare them for the demands of STEAM-based courses, but also provide students with important skills valued by prospective employers.”
Merewether High School is using the software to support participation in the international F1 in Schools design competition.
One of its student teams is using the tools to design its project which it will present at the finals in Abu Dhabi later this year.
At the university level, the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) is using Autodesk as the platform for its Digital Design and Construction stream as part of the Bachelor of Construction Project Management degree.
Schools can request free access to Autodesk via the vendor’s Web site. The software and Cloud-based services is only permitted to be used for educational purposes.