PTC Drives Global Technology Education With Free Design Software & Support
NEEDHAM, Mass. – May 8, 2002 – PTC, the product development company, today announced it is providing educators worldwide with design software and other cutting edge teaching resources to help young people master the use of technology and prepare for careers in design, technology and engineering. View the Video News Release - Helping Students Think, Create and Learn in 3D (RealPlayer required).
As part of its expanded Partnership for Innovative Learning, PTC will provide educators with its Pro/DESKTOP® and Pro/ENGINEER® design software, affordable teacher training, instructional materials and other resources that are often too costly for school systems and institutions of higher education.
To encourage technological literacy in its home state, Massachusetts, PTC offered its Pro/DESKTOP program and instructional materials completely free to every one of the state's 600 middle and high schools. In addition, PTC will provide Massachusetts teachers with free training to help them learn to use and teach Pro/DESKTOP. Massachusetts last year became the first state in the nation to establish K-12 curriculum standards for engineering and science.
"Technological literacy will continue to be more and more important as our society is led by those who are aware of how technology works, its many ramifications, and how it affects people around the world," said Kendall N. Starkweather, executive director of the International Technology Educators Association, an organization of educators pushing for technological literacy programs. "The more people know about technology, the better equipped they will be to control the impact on society."
PTC's program allows children as young as nine to think and create in three dimensions with sophisticated design software typically used by manufacturers.
"We are forming working partnerships with educators to prepare today's students to adapt to new technology throughout their lives," said C. Richard Harrison, chief executive officer and president at PTC. "Our legacy of design engineering innovation has also made it possible for us to help inspire more students to become the innovators of tomorrow by choosing careers in product design and engineering.
"In industry," Harrison continued, "we are seeing a renewed corporate focus on the product development process as a key driver of economic growth. It is essential to give the workforce of tomorrow the critical thinking and collaboration skills to use technology effectively."
School and College Programs
PTC's global offering extends to virtually any middle or high school that wants to teach technology and supports curriculum standards developed by the International Technology Educators Association. PTC provides schools with Pro/DESKTOP – its easy to learn and use 3D design software – and other instructional materials for free. Training courses taught by experienced technology teachers are offered at little or no cost. In addition, PTC allows teachers to give students Pro/DESKTOP to install on their home computers.
PTC has made a complementary offer to colleges and universities that wish to teach engineering with its flagship Pro/ENGINEER mechanical computer-aided design and related software solutions. Universities pay a modest $2,500 annual fee to cover the cost of program activities.
The commercial value of PTC's software grants ranges from $25,000 for a typical 25-seat middle or secondary school installation up to $4 million for a university mechanical engineering program. PTC's software grants thus far to 3,600 middle and high schools in the United States and the United Kingdom have an estimated commercial value of $90 million.
Today's announcement signals the worldwide expansion of a program that PTC has been operating on a pilot basis since 1999.
At the middle and high school level, about 5,500 teachers, mostly in the United States and United Kingdom, have already been trained to teach Pro/DESKTOP. In the U.S., teachers in 25 states are participating in the program, with concentrations in Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Schools already participating in Massachusetts include Newton South High School in Newton, the Rafael Hernandez School in Boston and Shawsheen Valley Regional Technical High School in Billerica.
Internationally, the Hong Kong Department of Education officially endorsed the program in February when 80 secondary school teachers adopted it. Participants are also active in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. PTC is focusing its expansion efforts in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan and China.
At the university level, more than 1,500 institutions worldwide already are using PTC's Pro/ENGINEER and other software applications in mechanical engineering courses, including the top 15 U.S. engineering programs as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.
Origin in the United Kingdom
PTC's Partnership for Innovative Learning began in the United Kingdom, where design and technology has been a core subject – along with English, history and mathematics – since 1988.
Three years ago, PTC agreed to provide its Pro/DESKTOP software to the British Department of Education and Skills to serve as the principal 3D design tool used in its K-12 design and technology curriculum. Since then, more than 1 million students in 72 percent of the 3,000 secondary schools in England and Wales have learned design and technology with Pro/DESKTOP.
"PTC has made one of the largest-ever contributions from private industry to the British education system," said the Right Honorable Estelle Morris, M.P., secretary of state for education and skills. "It is giving our children a head start in the design process and releasing their creativity. Nowhere in the world are so many secondary schools involved in such an innovative program."
In 2001, to encourage the adoption of design and technology curricula in the United States, PTC formed a partnership with the Department of Technological Studies at The College of New Jersey. This college has established an infrastructure for training teachers and providing them with teaching resources when they have completed certain requirements.
Design and technology studies are already having a profound impact on the lives of many young people.
Neil Szegota was an indifferent student when he became deeply involved in a design project as part of the United Kingdom's national design and technology curriculum at Theale Green Community School in Reading, England.
"I loved Pro/DESKTOP from the minute I started using it in class," says Neil, now 20 and a design student at Buckinghamshire Chiltons University College. "When I was 17 and still in secondary school, I used it to design my 'prawn chair,' which is shaped like a shrimp. After I won third prize in an international design contest -- competing against university students -- I decided to go to university to pursue industrial design as a career. My experience with design and technology, and with Pro/DESKTOP, changed my life."
PTC (Nasdaq: PMTC) develops, markets, and supports software solutions that help manufacturers win with superior products. PTC is the world's largest software company with a total commitment to product development. The company services more than 33,000 customers worldwide. Further information on PTC is available at http://www.ptc.com.
PTC and its logo, The Product Development Company, Pro/ENGINEER, Pro/DESKTOP and all PTC product names and logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Parametric Technology Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and in other countries.
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