Demystifying STEM with SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids

Demystifying STEM with SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids

Let’s face it: sometimes, getting kids into STEM is hard. You can preach the gospel of science, technology, engineering, and math all day long, but if a kid feels like their creativity and imagination are being stifled by rules and numbers, “STEM” can quickly turn into “STOP.” SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids was created with this in mind.
SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids is an ecosystem of appsmeant to nurture new designers from age 4 and up. With Capture It, Shape It, Mech It, Style It, and Print It apps, kids are introduced to real-world workflow practices like ideation, creation, enhancement, and production in a fun and accessible way. The apps empower kids to learn while allowing their creativity to flow, giving them multiple methods to design and turn their craziest ideas into reality.

Meet the Apps 

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Capture It is a personal inspiration app, where kids can add photos, draw their own images and turn them into stickers, and create an idea board for all the designs that will come next.

Anyone who is familiar with 3D modeling will recognize Shape It, a kid-friendly, easy to use CAD app that allows kids to shape, prod, and pull material into their very own creations.

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Two kids might create similar models, but with the Style Itapp they can really make their own designs pop. Kids can transfer models from Shape It to Style It and use colors, stickers, backgrounds, and more to decorate and make their model truly unique. Create a cute and happy spider or your own Mars rover.

With the Print It app, kids can watch their designs come to life. Print It gives kids the ability to 2D print or 3D print their designs, and also allows them to learn about isometric views in a cool way with the Cube Print function. Keep reading to see an example of the Cube Print function.

Is your child more interested in motors and linkages? With the Mech It app, moving machinery is in within arm’s reach, with cool and colorful spiral designs that kids can tweak in any which way they like.

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Mech It was definitely my favorite app to try out! Join a few bars together, add a motor, and then hit play to watch it go! You can even slow it down and speed it up with the slider bar. Here is a simple crank-rocker mechanism I created:

Pro Tips to Get Started Successfully with SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids

1) Start with the Videos

When you try out the apps, make sure you start with the videos! They are short but all very helpful so that you can get started right away and learn what all the different options are for drawing, styling, and modifying designs. Especially for kids new to CAD, this is SO helpful! Just click the ? in the upper right corner of the screen at SOLIDWORKS Appsfor Kids to find all the videos to get started on the right track.

2) Utilize the Public Projects

Navigate to the public projects, find one you like, then click on the copy icon to “Riff.”

3) Start tinkering!

Dive right in and start tinkering with whichever app appeals to you most!

4) Remember to Print it

One way for kids to show what they created is to print it. You can create 2D prints on paper, with or without a background, on a 6-sided cube, and in color by number style (what?!!! This is so awesome!). You can even 3D print your kids’ creations. I constantly get asked for project ideas for 3D printing. These apps have got you covered; design, go to print it, and grab your STL file. Explore the Print It app and never run out of ideas for your 3D printer.

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Internet Safety and Privacy

Projects in SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids are always private until you decide to share to the Apps for Kids Public Gallery. Users can “riff” on public projects—your kid might see a cutesy bunny design, like it, then riff on that project and transform that bunny into an out of this world alien. Creativity, imagination, and community are all part of the Apps for Kids ecosystem.

STEM Block, Tech Lab, or Makerspace

Educators across the country have embraced SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids as a means to teach their students about design and engineering. Now, the Apps for Kids Classroom interface allows teachers to create and organize self-contained workshops.

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Use at Home Together

Parents, do not deprive yourself of the opportunity to create something magical and fun with your child. Work together to create a robot army, an enchanted land, or a space adventure!

While there are dozens of apps out there that may enhance STEM learning, these apps are truly a complete suite of apps. There is something for everyone, whether your students lean more toward revising and enhancing designs or creating something brand new from scratch.

If you give kids the means to express and create, to engineer and tinker to their heart’s content, they can learn that STEM exists beyond numbers and rules. With SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids, they are already there. Learn more about all the fun things you can do with SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids right here.

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