Northern Ireland's Classroom 2000 Initiative Standardizes on SolidWorks 3D Mechanical Design Software for Up to 9,000 Students


In One of World's Largest e-learning Projects, Every Student Ages 11 to 18 Will Get the Opportunity to Build Valuable Skills for Successful Careers and Higher Education


CONCORD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 6, 2003-- Preparing students for professional careers in design and engineering, the Northern Ireland Department of Education has made SolidWorks(R) 3D mechanical design software available to 300 of the country's secondary schools for as many as 9,000 students, SolidWorks announced today.

The five-year contract with Northern Ireland's Classroom 2000 (C2K) Project Board is a key component in one of the world's biggest e-learning projects. C2K is a 10-year government initiative designed to electronically connect the largest number of pupils, teachers, and administrators in the world. The project will deliver a managed service to all public schools consisting of networked computers, best-in-class learning applications and software, high-speed networking, and online services, all as an integrated and supported package.

SolidWorks is one of several C2K software products that will ensure Northern Ireland students acquire the knowledge and skills they need for the emerging information society. SolidWorks software will give students aged 11 through 18 an opportunity to learn 3D mechanical design skills as part of a pre-engineering framework of science and technology. C2K selected SolidWorks because of its widespread use in industry, advanced capabilities, ease of use, and proven ability to operate seamlessly and securely on the C2K infrastructure. SolidWorks will help students easily expand their exploration of design concepts to include analysis, rapid prototyping, and computer numerical control (CNC) machining. Also, SolidWorks' eDrawings software will advance C2K's e-learning program by letting teachers and students exchange and critique designs electronically.

"Designing and engineering are problem-solving activities of the highest order, and students enlist all the academic disciplines as they find solutions to their classroom challenges," said Willie McKeown, technology and design advisor for Northern Ireland's North Eastern Education and Library Board, which recommended the SolidWorks purchase. "SolidWorks supports this valuable career preparation with software that lets students quickly bring their ideas to life in full motion and in three photorealistic dimensions, just as they may do as professional engineers. We find SolidWorks very intuitive compared to other 3D modeling packages we have used in the past."

Northern Ireland secondary school students have passionately adopted computer-aided design and have even secured patents for their products. These inventions include an inflatable raft for broken-ice rescues, a wheelchair that morphs into a tricycle, and a machine that flings soccer balls for kicking drills.

SolidWorks' unmatched power and ease of use allows students to spend more time solving problems and inventing products than learning to use mechanical design software. SolidWorks, the world's leading mainstream 3D mechanical design package with users at more than 30,000 companies, ensures that students are developing transferable skills that will make them valuable, in-demand candidates for the professional world that awaits them.

"The Department of Education of Northern Ireland has done an exceptional job reviewing today's best educational technology trends and solutions, and has crafted a smart, complete, and well-articulated plan for the future," said Rosanne Kramer, director of worldwide education markets for SolidWorks Corporation. "SolidWorks is honored to be the 3D mechanical design component of the C2K initiative. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with such a forward-thinking government, and we look forward to supporting this new modern era of innovation in the country's schools."

NT CADCAM, an authorized SolidWorks reseller, is providing ongoing software support and training to Northern Ireland faculty and staff.

About NT CADCAM

NT CADCAM has offices in five locations across the UK and Ireland, and has in-house expertise in the fields of FEA, CAM, PDM, ERP, and the integration of all these disciplines. A SolidWorks Solution Partner, NT CADCAM provides complete end-to-end design and manufacturing solutions by offering SolidWorks software. Supporting a wide range of SolidWorks Gold Partner and Solution Partner products, NT CADCAM provides organizations with a total solution, including support, training, consulting services, and API programming. For more information, visit the Web site at www.ntcadcam.co.uk.

About SolidWorks Corporation

SolidWorks Corporation, a Dassault Systemes S.A. (Nasdaq: DASTY, Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA) company, develops and markets software for mechanical design, analysis, and product data management. Founded in 1993, SolidWorks' mission is to unleash the power of 3D for everyone in product development and foster a collaborative user community. In seven years of delivering product, SolidWorks has shipped more than 245,000 total seats of software worldwide. SolidWorks has offices around the globe and sells, distributes, and supports its products through a worldwide reseller network. For the latest news, information, or a live online demonstration, visit the company's Web site ( www.solidworks.com) or call 1-800-693-9000 (outside of North America, call +1-978-371-5000).

SolidWorks is a registered trademark of SolidWorks Corporation. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective owners. Copyright (c) 2003 SolidWorks Corporation

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