Google SketchUp for My Class

Students get excited about 3D modeling with SketchUp. Use 3D modeling to explore concepts and ideas!

Google SketchUp, whose award-winning toolset was developed for architects to help them design buildings, is modeling software that empowers designers – alone or in teams – to explore complex design ideas in 3D. Now it can do the same for your students. SketchUp is a great tool for easily teaching kids to construct 3D models of buildings, trees, cars, and the like. You can use it as a stand-alone tool, or in conjunction with Google Earth and the 3D Warehouse.

There are any number of lessons – from learning about area and volume to studying building and community design – whose concepts are best illustrated in 3D. SketchUp is one of those products that will easily get kids learning – and thinking they're just having fun, as your classes apply SketchUp to geography, social studies, history and industrial technology. Students can use SketchUp to visualize geometry and other mathematical concepts, create models to learn about architecture, and design everything from games and toys to models of spaceships and cars.

Theater and film students can use SketchUp to conceptualize their sets. Students can use it to participate in community development projects that involve CAD, GIS, or other design applications. SketchUp can help math students at all levels to better understand geometric concepts. And 3D design can easily be added to any number of classroom projects that aren't directly design-related, from designing a set for a Shakespeare play to creating visualizations of historical settings or getting students excited about history by building a virtual history museum.

Getting Started

1. Download SketchUp. SketchUp users in K12 Education can choose between Google SketchUp (the free version) or SketchUp Pro (which is free for educators and extremely affordable for students and schools). We recommend that most folks in K-12 education try out Google SketchUp (free) – there's no licensing to worry about, and students can download and install it on their computers at home. Learn more about the different versions of SketchUp

No matter which version you choose, you get SketchUp by downloading it from this website. If you download Google SketchUp Pro, you'll need a license to keep using it after the free trial period is over; see our SketchUp for Education page for more information on the different types of Pro EDU licenses. We also offer a Google SketchUp Pro Statewide License Grant to states who apply [PDF].

2. Watch the SketchUp video tutorials to familiarize yourself with its features.
3. Review the self-paced SketchUp tutorials, which guide you step by step (using scenes) through concepts of modeling in SketchUp.
4. Check out the SketchUp gallery for ideas on how to use SketchUp in your classroom.
5. Review the SketchUp K-12 Case Studies Gallery.
6. Watch a great case study video on geo-modeling in the classroom.