SolidWorks Student succeeds from Technical Drawing class to Skills Arkansas to Skills USA

Maria - Skills Arkansas 2
Winners from each Technical Drafting state competition will ascend on the nationals SkillsUSA championship next week.  My colleague, John Steere, received the following letter from Maria that traces her challenging path to a national championship.  We will meet Maria and the other states winners at SkillsUSA in June.   Thank you to her teachers, Mr. Johnston, Heath Cady and the other technology teachers that help students learn the SolidWorks skills they need to compete.  Marie

 Dear Mr. Steere,

    First of all I would like to introduce myself, my name is Maria Quezada and I'm a Western Arkansas Technical Center (WATC) student at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith that competed in the SkillsUSA competitions this year. I competed in the Technical Drafting competitions using your software, SolidWorks. Preparing myself for the competitions was not easy, due to the fact that I was taking 15 college hours along with my morning high school classes. When the competitions came up and I was asked what I wanted to compete in, I said technical drafting. Then question for me was "what software do I use?" The first thing that came to my head was SolidWorks. I had taken a 3-D Visualization class in the summer of 2011 and we got introduced to SolidWorks. In the summer course, we only used it for about two weeks and I loved it. It was very easy to use and learn. The problem was that it had been about a year since I had used it but I knew that if I stayed a couple of hours after my night class and practiced I would be able to get familiar with it again.

      At first I only remembered a couple of things and had trouble repeating simple drafting designs. I looked up some tutorials on YouTube and tried using a book, those helped but what really helped was just practice, practice and more practice. During my breaks I would open a Technical Drawing book my instructor, Mr. Johnston, let me borrow and recreated a drawing. As the days passed by the drawing I picked was harder; but recreating it was getting easier. Aside from practicing on my own, Mr. Johnston helped me prepare for the competitions when he could. SolidWorks was very easy to lean and by the time the competitions came up I was ready to compete.

Practicing SolidWorks Drawing

     I'm very proud to say that all the hard work paid off. I placed first in my competition and received the gold metal. Now I have to opportunity to go to the national competitions in Kansas City during the third week of June. I have decided to go to national competitions and will keep on practicing and using SolidWorks software. 

    I would like to thank you for your support and giving the university the license to use the software to compete. Without your support I would not have been able to use SolidWorks for the competitions. I really appreciate what you have done for me and once again thank you very much for giving me the SolidWorks software license. 


Maria Quezada



Marie Planchard

Marie Planchard

Senior Director, Early Engagement, 3DEXPERIENCE Works at Dassault Systemes
Marie Planchard is an education and engineering advocate. As Senior Director of Education & Early Engagement, SOLIDWORKS, she is responsible for global development of content and social outreach for the 3DEXPERIENCE Works products across all levels of learning including educational institutions, Fab Labs, and entrepreneurship.
Marie Planchard