Leave it to a presidential announcement to get people excited about supporting the education of high school and college students. We think the recent flood of “hey, we offer free software” proclamations are great, but thought it was time to clarify a few things. After all, to get good grades, you need to do your research and present all the facts in chronological order.

GRAPHISOFT has been providing a fully functional educational version of ArchiCAD to architecture students at the middle, high school and college level for free for eight years now. We’re talking since 2006. GRAPHISOFT even extended its policy of providing free software to teachers, academic institutions and training schools throughout the United States and beyond.

In a short time, we reached the one million mark of free downloads, and to better support the demand, GRAPHISOFT launched MyArchiCAD.com. Since 2009 MyArchiCAD.com has provided students and teachers with an unprecedented wealth of resources including an entire range of free, interactive training materials. They also have had continuous access to state of the art integrated energy evaluation tools, sophisticated presentation applications such as BIMx, MEP, and partner products, Artlantis, Solibri model check, and Tekla BIMsight.

My ArchiCAD

And let’s talk about what STEM really is. The acronym stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. You’ll see an “A” added in some articles – the “A” can stand for Art, Architecture or even Agriculture. In other messaging, you may notice an “R” added because Religion becomes part of the curriculum.

With so many interpretations and catchphrases, we checked in with Russell Mickleson, CEO of the STEM Academy – a highly regarded national non-profit K-16 education program – to get our facts straight. In his role as CEO, Mickelson and his team drive legislation, develop strategies and manage corporate partnerships that improve STEM literacy across the board in diverse communities. The STEM Academy began its mission in 2006 and partnered with GRAPHISOFT in 2007.

According to Mickelson, who has been instrumental in getting the state of Utah to allocate $26 million toward its STEM program, the definition of STEM is clear. “STEM should be rooted in interdisciplinary applied application of knowledge designed around a cooperative effort to provide students with a comprehensive, meaningful real world learning experience. STEM education provides a bridge for students, education providers and the business community to more effectively develop learning pathways in technology driven careers. Economic growth will directly correlate to our ability to engage the neglected majority of students in real-world STEM experiences.  To this end it is imperative students are exposed to world-class technologies which are financially sustainable.  GRAPHISOFT has been our partner since the beginning because their objectives match ours. ”

By being involved with The STEM Academy’s STEM 101 program, we can be proud of the fact that its students outperform their peers on standardized tests and pursue technical fields at a much higher rate than their peers.

STEM Academy

So to review:

  • 2006: GRAPHISOFT rolls out its EDU program to provide free software to schools and students
  • 2007: GRAPHISOFT partners with The STEM Academy, enabling them to offer affordable and effective curriculum to students from all walks of life
  • 2010: Reform for the Future, with it’s focus on STEM is sent to Congress

By supporting the exposure of young minds to industry relevant tools in an education environment that seeks out diverse and needy communities, we are putting those tools to their best use, and highest use.

So, welcome to the STEM party everyone, we’re happy you could join us.

To learn more about GRAPHISOFT’s commitment to education and the various ways in which the company supports education programs, students, teachers, schools, colleges and universities click  here, herehere, here, herehere, here, here or here.



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