CONCORD, Mass.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—December 20, 2006— Aiming to expand the pool of skilled engineers in the U.S., SolidWorks Corporation continues to sponsor robot design competitions to give students a taste of real-world engineering projects. Four programs - MATE ROV, Botball, BEST Robotics, and BotsIQ - are the latest to receive free licenses of SolidWorks(R) 3D CAD and COSMOS(R) design analysis software. Students in middle school through college use the software in these competitions to quickly learn CAD concepts and discover their engineering creativity.
Since 2003, SolidWorks has worked with different organizations to
sponsor competitions that give students hands-on experience in
planning, designing, testing, building, presenting, and operating
robots in term- or year-long competitions. Students learn to work in
teams, create bills of materials, order parts, work with industry
experts, and make deadlines. Using SolidWorks helps them spend more
time developing engineering skills and less time learning CAD
Long Beach (Calif.) City College Senior Bryan Bischoff used
SolidWorks Student Edition software to teach himself how to design in
3D, instead of continuing to draw in 2D AutoCAD(R). He used his skills
to lead a team that designed an undersea remotely operated vehicle
(ROV) for the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center's
International ROV Competition.
"Being able to see what we've designed before we make it is huge
because we don't waste time fixing problems later," said Bischoff.
"That visualization helps us tackle some tough design challenges
involving buoyancy and thrust in an underwater environment. Learning
these skills and becoming adept at using SolidWorks helped me get my
current job (designing industrial power transformers)."
Planting the seed
SolidWorks' support of robot competitions extends to programs that
focus on budding engineers in middle and high school, as well as those
honing their skills in college. Students in grades 7-12 gain a better
appreciation for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)
concepts when engaged in a contest to design a working robot. College
students using SolidWorks can see graphically how engineering skills
translate to robot performance.
"There is a real concern for the declining technical skill set in
this country," said Janne Ackerman, president of Boosting Engineering,
Science and Technology (BEST) Robotics, Inc., a non-profit
organization that sponsors robot competitions for middle and high
school students. "SolidWorks' sponsorship of competitions like ours
lets students, teachers, and those in the technical sector know that
the CAD industry is making an investment in the future by providing
tools contestants will use in their careers."
SolidWorks Corporation is donating software licenses to these
-- Botball - Middle and high school students form teams and
design and build autonomous robots that must perform a series
of tasks, such as placing colored balls in the right color
-- BotsIQ -- Created from the popular TV show BattleBots, the
program includes a complete curriculum of STEM education and
teacher training that culminates in students designing and
fabricating robots competing nationally and locally in four
different types of competition: task oriented, fully
autonomous, and 15- and 120-pound robots that face head to
-- MATE ROV - Teams from middle school through college use
guidance from industry professionals to design sub-sea ROV's
that perform tasks such as salvaging objects from the bottom
of a pool to simulate real-life recovery operations at great
-- BEST Robotics - Students in grade seven through 12 form teams
to design robots that must do tasks such as hang up wet
laundry and take down dry laundry or replace batteries on a
mini-replica of the Hubble Telescope.
"Without corporate sponsorship, many students in public
institutions might not get the chance to experience the fun and the
challenge of designing their own robots to compete with other teams
from around the country or around the world," said Marie Planchard,
SolidWorks director of education. "It's important we give all students
the tools to better understand STEM concepts and see what they can
accomplish with a little engineering creativity. That's how we seed
their enthusiasm for engineering careers."
About SolidWorks Corporation
SolidWorks Corporation, a Dassault Systemes S.A. (Nasdaq:
Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA) company, develops and markets software
for design, analysis, and product data management. It is the leading
supplier of 3D CAD technology, giving teams intuitive, high-performing
software that helps them design better products. For the latest news,
information, or an online demonstration, visit the company's Web site
(www.solidworks.com) or call 1-800-693-9000 (outside of North America,
SolidWorks is a registered trademark of SolidWorks Corporation.
COSMOS is a registered trademark of Structural Research & Analysis
Corporation. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their
respective owners. Copyright (c) 2006 SolidWorks Corporation.
Click here (http://blogs.solidworks.com/mediapodcasts/) to listen
to a podcast interview with BEST President Janne Ackerman and Long
Beach City College Student Bryan Bischoff
You can subscribe to SolidWorks podcasts through iTunes, My Yahoo
and sign up to an RSS feed linking you to new podcasts.
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