The nearly 400 college students who compete in this year's American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) 1/4 Scale Tractor Student Design Competition will have access to free SolidWorks Student Edition software. The 100 recipients of this year's Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) will each get a free license of SolidWorks Education Edition. And up to 1,000 teachers from middle school through college will also be given free copies of SolidWorks Student Edition through the SolidWorks - STEM Educators grant.
All of these gifts are part of SolidWorks Corporation's (www.solidworks.com) commitment to support the fusion of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in education. "STEM education is absolutely critical for the U.S. to lead the world in high technology innovation," said Dr. Krishna Vedula, executive chairman of the Massachusetts STEM Collaborative and former dean of engineering at the University of Massachusetts - Lowell. "STEM integrates pure math and science with the disciplines to which they are applied, and CAD software can play an integral role in this endeavor."
"Teachers trained on SolidWorks software will be better equipped to teach math and science concepts," said Marie Planchard, SolidWorks Corporation's director of education marketing. "For example, CAD software is adept at conveying 2D and 3D geometry concepts to younger students and illustrating algebra and physics principles in later years. Teachers can apply these topics in engineering projects such as designing a CO2 car and simulating the effects of airflow with respect to changes in geometry."
In the ASABE tractor design competition students have one year to design a tractor about the size of a riding lawn mower that a panel will judge based on written design report, team presentation, individual design judging, maneuverability and a performance competition. "We've seen a dramatic improvement in student creativity in the past couple of years since students began using SolidWorks for the competition," said Matt Darr, professor of food, agriculture, and biological engineering at Ohio State University. SolidWorks lets students make their ideas a 3D reality and enhances their ability to work with suppliers to create a production-grade prototype"
"The number of math and science related degrees, including engineering, has been dropping in the past decade in the United States," said Planchard. "As corporate citizens in this field, it's our duty to support frontline teachers. We are giving the best teachers in the country a powerful tool to demonstrate what students can achieve with a solid math and science education. Hopefully this will encourage more students to pursue STEM careers."