For the second year in a row, members of the PTC Education team attended the ITEEA Annual Conference as exhibitors and presenters. ITEEA is the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association. This year, ITEEA 2024 was held in Memphis, Tennessee, and hosted over 700 educators, administrators, education students, and other STEM professionals from around the world. 

At the event, we had the opportunity to speak with several attendees. We also presented three sessions: 

  • Empowering Innovators: Project-Based Learning & Onshape

  • Equity and Access in STEM: Enabling More Students 

  • Action Lab: Onshape, Cloud-Native CAD Free for Education

In these sessions, we answered questions about CAD software and its accessibility, resources to integrate CAD into your curriculum, and Industry Recognized Credentials (IRCs) offerings for students and educators. 

Coming out of those discussions, we recognized the importance for us to support educators with the following: 

CAD Accessibility

While educators understand the importance of incorporating digital tools like CAD software into their engineering programs, many have limited resources to do so. The costs of both the software and required hardware are prohibitive when it comes to other CAD platforms. 

One of the top questions asked was about the cost of Onshape licenses. It felt great to share that it is free for any student or educator with education plans. The relief and excitement we saw were incredible. It’s great that we can remove that barrier for educators already handling so much. 

Another common barrier is the device and IT requirements to set up CAD in the classroom. Since Onshape is cloud-native, it can run on Windows, Macs, Chromebooks, and even iPads. This enables schools to use lower-cost devices or those already being used for other programs at the school. Onshape also updates automatically, eliminating the need for IT to complete updates on your workstations. 

Rather than dealing with complicated licensing, students and educators just need to sign up for an Onshape account, which they can use on any device. We can also work with schools with specific sign-on or data privacy requirements. 

Project-Based Learning Resources

In addition to getting access to professional CAD software, incorporating it into the curriculum can be a challenge for educators. That’s why we created a number of educator resources in our Learning Center. These resources are designed to be implemented as full courses or can be utilized as modules to enhance teaching as needed. 

Some highlights:

Intro to CAD

This course provides educators with curriculum resources for their introductory CAD classes. The topics presented in this course are appropriate for teaching K-12 or college/university students who are new to CAD. Five units take students from learning mouse controls and navigating the interface to modeling their own projects. This contains starter Onshape Documents with student instructions, lesson slides, teacher guides, student guides, exams, and more.

CAD for Robotics Competitions

Curriculum that covers simple introductory CAD concepts, as well as assembly, custom components, collaboration, manufacturing, and communication. It uses an approach to learning CAD specific to FTC, FRC, or VEX teams under tight timelines to create their robots.

CAD Drawings

A set of 8 units created by university educators, CAD Drawings is a thorough introduction to engineering drawings. Each unit includes lecture slides, examples, Onshape-specific features, and exercises. The course begins with basic dimensioning and extends to complex topics such as standard fits, and geometric dimensioning and tolerancing.

Projects, Lessons, Teacher Tips

When educators aren’t looking for full sets of curricula like those previously mentioned, they can leverage our Projects, Lessons, and Teacher Tips – all brand new resources created by educators for educators that can be found in the Educator Resources section of the Onshape Learning Center.

For educators already using a curriculum from a third party, we are working with several organizations incorporating Onshape. For example, we have also worked with ITEEA and PLTW (Project Lead the Way) to incorporate Onshape into some of their courses. 

Industry Recognized Credentials (IRCs)

During the event, we repeatedly heard how important it is for educators to be able to provide IRC opportunities to their students. These credentials can support graduation requirements and secure program funding. 

Fortunately in several states, we support educators providing IRCs to their students with the Certified Onshape Associate exam. This exam is tailored for educators, students, and entry-level engineers interested in demonstrating their CAD proficiency to prospective employers. The three-hour Associate exam verifies a user’s understanding of Onshape’s part modeling, multi-part modeling, basic assembly design, drawing knowledge, and sharing and collaboration tools.

To support educators working to get their students certified, we created a guide and practice exam that discusses exam topics and logistics. We also partnered with ITEEA to develop their course, Engineering byDesign. This semester-long course supports educators in preparing students for the Certified Onshape Associate exam. 

We are working diligently to get Onshape on the state approval lists wherever applicable. We have already been added to the list in a number of states. If you have any questions about these approvals or want to collaborate with us to submit them for approval in your state, contact us at

Educator & Student Resources

Find complete Onshape curricula, certification prep courses, and much more!