CAD Camp

Newly updated for 2017!

Breathe life into creativity with the help of CAD (Computer-Aided Design), a cutting-edge software utilized in industries ranging from woodworking to aerospace engineering! Using the free-to-use software, SketchUp, CAD Camp enables instructors to easily setup and implement the day’s activities with no previous experience required. Camp leaders will love the detailed instructions, background info, prep tips, discussion questions, extensions and more, making this one of the most teachable camps ever! Each day, students work through step-by-step projects to gain new skills and attempt stimulating challenges.

These experiences culminate in the building of dream tree houses as learners work together to construct a tree house community! Computer-Aided Design Camp delivers the unforgettable experience of exploring the limitless potential of one of the most widely used engineering tools in the world!

Tech requirements: One device per student (SketchUp software is compatible with Mac and PC desktops and laptops.)

Curriculum Sample

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

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

      Each Activity Guide Includes:

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

      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

        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

        Click images below to view PDF

        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 Masters 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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