It’s amazing to see some of the ways that Google products can connect people, often in very unexpected ways. Cheryl Wright, Associate Professor in Family & Consumer Studies at the University of Utah, recently hosted some SketchUp camps known as iSTAR. The camps are designed for children on the autism spectrum, and have proven to be very useful for a variety of reasons.
The idea came from a seed planted almost eight years ago, as told by the Google SketchUp Blog:
About 8 years ago, the SketchUp team started receiving some pretty intriguing calls: parents of children on the autism spectrum were calling to let us know how SketchUp was changing their kids’ lives. People with autism tend to be unusually strong visual and spatial thinkers, and it became clear that SketchUp plays to those strengths. With that bit of information (and help from the Autism Society of Boulder County), we launched Project Spectrum with a single goal: connecting the autism community with SketchUp.
The video below provides a brief look at the iSTAR camps:
Cheryl and her team have studied hours of footage from the iSTAR camps and have published a paper that details their findings. In addition, you can read more in this article on the University of Utah’s web site.
SketchUp is an amazing tool to help model our 3D world, but has uses that go far beyond its original intent. Learn more about these excellent programs on the Google SketchUp Blog.