CAD Camp

CAD breathes life into creativity across the world. Engineers use it to design realistic models, woodworkers use it for pre-design, video game designers create life-like components and even artists use it in their creations. The possibilities are limitless with what CAD will be used for in the future, and CAD Camp prepares students by teaching them Computer-Aided Design program fluency through project-based activities and challenges.

This camp was designed to be the most easy-to-implement for instructors and requires no experience. Included are instructions, background info, prep tips, discussion questions, extensions and more that make this camp just as enjoyable for the instructor as for the students! Student-driven curriculum enables instructors to act as a facilitator of learning and discovery while students work through step-by-step projects to gain new skills and attempt challenges to master them.

While students gain knowledge and progress through the 12-day camp activities their problem-solving skills and creativity are put to the test. Each day is designed to blend group and personal work time with a 10 minute group discussion followed by 50 minutes of pure, independent work time. This gives students plenty of time to tackle the project at hand, and potentially dive into the optional extensions.

Grades: 4-8 Students: Up to 30 Contact Hours: 12+

Curriculum Sample

Recommended Settings: 

  • Summer camps
  • Elementary classrooms
  • After-school programs
  • Homeschool environments


  • Half hour free webinar training for purchases of $500+
  • One hour free webinar training for purchases of $1000+
  • Additional training available for purchase
  • CAD Camp student handouts (no-tear paper) - 270
  • CAD Camp instructor handouts (no-tear paper) - 12
  • Expanding plastic file folder - 1

Daily Lessons

  1. Computer-Aided Design
  2. Create and Edit 3D Models!
  3. Making a Famous Building in 3D
  4. Custom Trophies
  5. Become Your Own Architect
  6. Design with Style
  7. A Dream Home for Fish
  8. Array for Birthdays!
  9. Put the Arc in Architect!
  10. Space, the Final Frontier...
  11. The Great Wall of Components and Groups
  12. Treefort Fever

Each Activity Guide Includes:

  • Schedule
  • Opening & Closing Discussion Topics
  • Step-By-Step Activity Instructions
  • Topic Background & Vocabulary
  • Materials List

Next Generation Science Standards

NGSS 3-5-ETS1-1 Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
NGSS MS-ETS1-1 Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.G.A.1 Draw points, lines, line segments, rays, angles (right, acute, obtuse), and perpendicular and parallel lines. Identify these in two-dimensional figures.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.MD.C.5.a An angle is measured with reference to a circle with its center at the common endpoint of the rays, by considering the fraction of the circular arc between the points where the two rays intersect the circle. An angle that turns through 1/360 of a circle is called a “one-degree angle,” and can be used to measure angles.
CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP5 Use appropriate tools strategically.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.3 Follow precisely a multi-step procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.7 Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).

Habits of Mind

  • Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations
  • Creating, Imagining, Innovating
  • Persisting
  • Striving for Accuracy
  • Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision

21st Century Skills

  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Creativity and Innovation 
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Initiative and Self Direction
  • Technology Literacy

CAD Camp Spec SheetCAD Camp Spec Sheet

Micah Johnson

Micah Johnson taught himself to use SketchUp in 2010 when he married his wife, Sharon. He and Sharon are designing their own environmentally friendly dream home, which they intend to build in the next few years. Micah earned a Bachelor and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in computational fluid dynamics. Growing up in Eastern Oregon, he developed an appreciation for the outdoors and the many hobbies that keep him busy today: backpacking, rock climbing, rugby, and, of course, programming. When he’s not playing, Micah works on a company he started in 2014 developing an avalanche safety product for backcountry skiers. Micah also makes time to work at PCS as a curriculum writer and lab instructor, where his inner super geek has found a second home.

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