I Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. Księżnej Elżbiety w Szczecinku is a long-established Polish secondary school that has incorporated ZWCAD into the STEM courses since 2017.
Choir, sports championships, theater club… a multiplicity of activities take place all year round at the NO. 1 public school in the Szczecinek region, northwestern Poland. Recently, I Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. Księżnej Elżbiety w Szczecinku (I LO im. Ks. Elżbiety w Szczecinku for short) has celebrated its 75th anniversary. Long-standing as this school is, it is venerable also for encouraging and embracing diversity and innovations.
Figure 1. I LO im. Ks. Elżbiety w Szczecinku
Innovative Technologies Aid Technical Drawing Class
“A four-year high school should, in our opinion, not only prepare students for passing final exams, but also help develop their interests in the widest possible way,” explained the deputy head. Naturally, young people are free to take lessons in mathematics and engineering, languages, humanities, etc. at this school. Moreover, each year, around 30 students get to attend the IT and Technical Drawings class among the various additional courses. In this 6-semester course, they will grasp the nature of CAD while mastering drawing in a CAD program. Teachers of the class said, “CAD helps to shape things around us. Having knowledge and experience in such a field gives students a great heads up in their careers.” For them, an ever-upgrading and decent CAD program is an essential teaching aid to equip students with the knowledge of CAD software and drawing specifications.
In 2017, through SZANSA, ZWSOFT’s Polish partner, IT and Technical Drawings teachers first heard about ZWCAD, a powerful and DWG compatible CAD solution. As for whether it is suitable for teaching, they delightedly determined that it is an accessible and applicable program with great features after the trial. Having decided to adopt it in classes, they were even happier to learn that they would be receiving free ZWCAD licenses from ZWSOFT. “While it is critical to encourage students to innovate, we should utilize innovative technologies in teaching as well. The fact that ZWSOFT is donating the full-featured ZWCAD and that I’m able to display every possible aspect of CAD to beginners is very important,” added one of the teachers, Ms. Anna Baryłowicz.
Figure 2. Students participating in the School Competition of the 4th Statistical Olympiad
CAD Learning Lays a Solid Foundation for Future Career
“We would start the class with very simple tasks to see if students can use all the functions correctly. Once we see that they are comfortable with the functions, we would assign harder tasks based on real-life examples,” introduced Ms. Baryłowicz. Since the interface of ZWCAD is intuitive and its commands easy-to-use, they usually get the hang of common operations very shortly. One of the students described learning with ZWCAD as “a fun way to experience CAD design”, while another appreciated, “It’s a brand new way of learning skills that will always be valuable on the market.”
Statistically, around half of the students who have took IT and Technical Drawings classes opt for a CAD-related major at university and most of them continue to work in the AEC industries after graduation. The teachers acknowledged, “We wanted to show students how CAD works in real life, so that they can be prepared for challenges that might arise at university or work. Thanks to ZWCAD, we can do that easily. Also, students don’t need to relearn even if they use other CAD software in the future, which makes them more competitive.” Besides, the continuous support from SZANSA stimulated the school to extend the cooperation.
The Gamut of Boosters for STEM Education
To encourage students to explore STEM subjects, the school set up a new computer lab with 17 computers with full software and Internet access, a 3D printer, and a projector this year. Plus, they have prepared a new course—Mathematics and Computer Science where students will dig deeper into CAD with ZWCAD installed on the computers.
Figure 3. The new computer lab at I LO im. Ks. Elżbiety w Szczecinku
I LO im. Ks. Elżbiety w Szczecinku is a facility with not only rich traditions, but also abundant modern programs. With ZWCAD, their students will maintain a competitive edge in the labor market and achieve more in their careers.
(All image courtesy of I LO im. Ks. Elżbiety w Szczecinku)