Sometime in the wee hours of the night, we launched our most recent initiative providing qualified academic institutions with $50,000 worth of Tinkercad. Since then, we've emailed and chatted with a few of you about how this idea came about and where it's all going to end up.
Here's the back story.
Educators have always been fond of Tinkercad for so many reasons. They email us from all over the world and embarrass us with generous praise. They also provide us with great insight into how their students (kids, adults and other educators) use Tinkercad.
Unfortunately, academia isn't a place where money flows easily or freely. It is often difficult to get approval for things and when you do, it is a time-consuming process. As a result, educators often pay for tools out-of-pocket, which can really add up over time.
So there were two reasons we went the route we did.
#1. We do not want to hinder innovation because of cost. Great tools should be made available to those who are in any learning environment and we don't want a lack of resources or funding to get in the way. Whether we're talking about a 12 year-old designing a rocket, an engineer prototyping a new product, or a P.h.D student working on her dissertation, CAD should no longer prohibit the flow of creative thinking and development.
#2. You -- our die-hard Tinkercad enthusiasts and educators -- told us this is what you wanted and what would help you succeed in the classroom. We listened, and then we went back to the drawing board. This initiative is where we landed.
Now that we've created it, we need your help to make it a huge success. We would love nothing more than to offer Tinkercad in this way for years to come, but we need to demonstrate a clear necessaity for it. Help us prove that you need us in your schools. Talk to your principal, your dean, the headmaster, parents and other educators about our initiative. Post on your listserves (yes, they still exist!), blog, Tweet, Peep and otherwise Facebook it. We also hear 3D prints look mighty good in almost any Instagram filter!
Seriously. This is it. Our academic initiative is the way we are going to help ignite the twinkle in the eyes of younger generations. This is how we are going to move the Third Industrial Revolution forward. Help us get there.