Apps for Kids inspires young thinkers to turn their wildest creations into reality.
On November 11th, 24 children from ages 10 to 13 years gathered at the training center, at SOLIDWORKS Waltham Campus. They had been invited to use the beta version of Shape It and Mech It features of SOLIDWORK’s new Apps for Kids, and share their feedback.
The kids were greeted with refreshing drinks, an activity packet with riddles and games, and toys to play with.
Once all were seated, the day started with the Find Your Partner ice-breaker.
The kids were then assembled to a computer room where their faces lit up with amazement as they opened their pop-up desktops.
Hari Padmanabhan and Sal Lama, who work in R&D department of the Product Definition group at SOLIDWORKS, gave the children a demonstration of the Mech It app. They walked the kids through the application, explaining standard features using simplified terminology. They also explained to them what a Spirograph meant, how it works, and demonstrated it using a toy. This was going to be their first task; design a Spirograph!
It was fascinating to watch the shallow learning curves of these 10+ year olds. They started by joining random pieces together at first, and soon began to understand the mechanics of it. As they started to put their wild imaginations to paper, they were creating amazing geometric drawings on Mech It. Soon they wanted to own them, name them, and then share them with everyone.
Hari gave them more design challenges to the kids, and rewarded them with star stickers for accomplishing each until lunch time. After lunch, they were invited to a well-deserved ice-cream break.
During second half of the day, Sal introduced Shape It to the children. A process similar to Mech It was followed. The kids were encouraged to switch between Mech It and Shape It, and share their feedback.
Many SOLIDWORKS employees were volunteering this afternoon who provided assistance to the children, answered questions, collected feedback, and ensured that the children were enjoying themselves.
Each session was followed by a group discussion where SOLIDWORKS’ team encouraged the kids to share what they liked, what they disliked, innovative ideas, changes they would recommend, and challenges they faced.
“You can create your own design”, and “use it for science projects”, were few of the comments made by the young group.
We thank all the SOLIDWORKS employees who encouraged their children to participate, all volunteers who helped, and to an amazing group of kids who made the event a success.