Parents eyeballing any future engineers may want to take note. Autodesk, in its continued effort to make science and engineering more accessible and let’s face it, more fun, has come out with a new free education app for the Apple iPad. Called Autodesk TinkerBox, the app challenges players to solve mechanical puzzles and physics problems by sketching tools, inserting gadgets and assembling components-all in an effort to spark student interest in engineering. As players conquer the puzzles and problems, they are pushed to the next level.
Autodesk is touting some survey results that underscore American teenagers’ interest in cultivating their engineering skills. In a recent survey that polled more than 1,000 teens between the ages of 12 and 17 about their attitudes towards academics that help prep them for engineering careers, Autodesk found that:
· More than half of all teens surveyed believe science and technology (54 percent) and engineering and math (53 percent) are important to their careers and future prosperity.
· Students don’t find the subjects boring or nerdy, but rank engineering and math doubly hard compared to any other subject.
· 28 percent of teens say “cool technology,” including web sites and games, would make the subjects easier to learn.
Of course, teens’ fascination with anything electronic and the coolness factor of the Apple iPad can’t hurt. TinkerBox will be available at the Apple App Store.