Autodesk has launched an estimated AU$25 million education push in Australia and New Zealand, with the company set to offer schools and universities free access to its 3D design software and creativity apps.
The California-headquartered design software developer has also kicked off a new program, dubbed Design the Future, which is aimed at providing secondary school teachers with free software training and project-based curricula integrating software and apps into standard lesson plans.
Autodesk claims the two-pronged education push is valued at over AU$25 million, and is expected help education professionals at more than 3,400 schools in Australia and New Zealand.
It is hoped that the program will aid schools in teaching problem-solving skills for careers in the science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) fields.
According to Autodesk, its 3D design software, creativity apps, and other learning resources, are already being used in a number of schools in the region.
"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," said Milorad Cerovac of Melbourne's King David School.
"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," he said.
Brenton Wyett, Autodesk's manager of education programs, said that the company's new program would help prepare students to fill the growing number of science and technology-based professional in the region.
"Today's students will shape tomorrow’s industries," he said. "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. This will help to equip and inspire the next generation of creative leaders and innovators in Australia."
In May, the design software company unveiled a new open software platform for 3D printing, Spark, along with an Autodesk-branded tabletop 3D printer.