I spoke with a local experienced CAD and engineering teacher about how she created her pathway for teaching CAD and engineering design. She also integrates it with architectural design. You can listen to her thoughts here: CAD vs. Engineering by The K12 Engineering Education Podcast | Free Listening on SoundCloud
Here it is on iTunes if that's easier: The K12 Engineering Education Podcast by Pius Wong on iTunes
It's interesting that she focuses on AutoCAD, because I've seen some surveys now where SolidWorks is more popular in engineering industries. But she also focuses on architecture, so I think that's why she uses AutoCAD. Any thoughts on teaching particular tools in high school? Her opinion ultimately was that if they learn the theory of CAD, they can learn other software pretty quickly, similar to computer languages and programming.