Schools get software grant worth $6.3 million

The Chester County Technical College High School (TCHS) campuses recently received an in-kind software grant from Siemens PLM Software, with a commercial value of over $6.3 million, according to a press release from the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU).

Technical College High School teachers participate in a training session led by Siemens to learn how to use the Solid Edge software.

Technical College High School teachers participate in a training session led by Siemens to learn how to use the Solid Edge software.

The Solid Edge software provides students enrolled in the TCHS programs access to the same technology that companies around the world depend on every day to develop innovative products in a wide variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, machinery, shipbuilding, high-tech electronics, and many more, the release said.

The in-kind grant was provided by the Siemens PLM Software’s academic program that delivers PLM software for schools at every academic level. TCHS is the only technical high school in Eastern Pennsylvania using Solid Edge in the classroom. The only other school in this region utilizing this software is Penn State Great Valley in its engineering program.

“It is a very exciting opportunity to have our students utilize the same technology that is currently used in advanced manufacturing settings in Chester County and across the Commonwealth,” Kirk Williard, director of CCIU’s Career and Technical Education division, said in the release. “Siemens is an international company. Many of these software packages are utilized on a global perspective for the design and development of products.”

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Bonnie Wolf (left), CCIU Board president and Kirk Williard (right), director of the CCIU’s Career and Technical Education division, thank Ryan Theeck, a Siemens representative, during CCIU's board meeting.

Siemens PLM Software is a leading global provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services. The Solid Edge software is an intuitive product development platform for accelerating all aspects of product creation, including 3D design, simulation, visualization, manufacturing and design management, the release said.

Students in the TCHS Brandywine electronics and robotics program are currently using the Solid Edge sketching tools to do extrusions, revolves, cuts and holes. Other students are designing Picatinny Rail Adaptors for the criminal justice and police science program. “Students are gaining experience in product design and practical applications,” electronics and robotics instructor John Cilladi said in the release.

Siemens was recognized at CCIU’s Board of Directors meeting last month for their donation, which included training on the program for TCHS instructors.

“We have a vested interest in using our technology, so we can help students better prepare for the workforce of today and tomorrow,” Howard West, Siemens Digital Factory Division, said in the release.

Operated by the CCIU, the Chester County Technical College High School (TCHS) is a public high school specializing in career and technical education with three campuses: TCHS Brandywine Campus in Downingtown, TCHS Pickering Campus in Phoenixville and TCHS Pennock’s Bridge Campus in West Grove, which serves which serves students from the Avon Grove, Kennett Consolidated, Octorara Area, Oxford Area, and Unionville-Chadds Ford school districts.


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