Google has just announced that is has sold SketchUp, it's popular 3D modeling software, to Trimble, a mapping, surveying and navigation equipment company. Google had purchased SketchUp in 2006. Many schools use SketchUp in their classes, having students design everything from floor plans, to buildings to project drawings and more.
Google is moving towards a "leaner, more focused company" and has been shutting down some services and moving functions into other services or just shutting it down completely. Picasa was recently shut down, having much of its feature set moved to Google+.
As far as Educators using Sketchup, it looks like there will still be a free version of SketchUp available. According to Google:
If you’re one of the many, many people who use SketchUp for something else—from education to woodworking, geo-modeling to movie-making—rest assured that there will be a SketchUp for you, too. Our mission has always been to make 3D modeling tools that anyone can use. The free version of SketchUp is an important part of our world as well, and that isn’t changing in the least.
SketchUp was popular, with over 30 million activations in the last year along. Trimble is going to continue developing and improving it. Trimble has stated that "Trimble will also partner with Google on running and developing SketchUp's 3D Warehouse, an online repository where users can find, share, store and collaborate on 3D models."
As of this writing, I was still able to download and install the educational version (K12) of SketchUp.
This is an incredible tool for students and educators to use and I really hope Trimble and/or Google keeps the free educational version going for a long time.
Sources: TechCrunch and the Official Google SketchUp Blog
SketchUp for Education Site
Google Resources for Education
STEM Resources for Students and Educators
LibreCAD - free, 2D CAD Software for Windows, OSX, and Linux
Free Academic Program (incl CAD software) from PTC
NASA 3D Resources - fun and educational - includes downloadable models to use in CAD.
10 Important Skills Students need for the Future
Technology in use in Engineering
Some More Ideas for getting students engaged in STEM subjects
Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge - great STEM opportunity
How to Turn a Teen Into an Engineer
TryEngineering - engineering simulations and info on engineering
Project Based Learning resources for Educators