Code Savvy Connections
Updated: May 5
Our newsletters highlight a variety of people, organizations, and resources that are doing work to broaden participation and expand equitable and engaging computer science and STEM opportunities. We are honored to work in this space along with so many talented and passionate individuals and want to help bring attention to their work.
This Week’s Spotlight and Project-Inspiration Theme: 3D Printing Superstar!
This week’s focus is Jazmine ‘Jaz’ Darden, Dunwoody College
This week we are shining a spotlight on a local STEAM superstar! Jazmine is a 3D Printing Instructor at Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis, as well as the Director of the Young Inventors Challenge with People of Play. Read below to find out how Jaz is using 3D printing to both inspire students and make an impact!
After graduating from Augsburg University, Jaz began her teaching career in Minneapolis Public Schools. She has always had a passion for STEAM, and led both GEMS (Girls in Engineering, Mathematics, and Science) and GISE (Guys in Science and Engineering) programs while with Minneapolis Schools. While looking for ways to branch out, she toured Dunwoody and loved what she saw. She began taking classes and eventually landed a role as an Instructor for 3D printing.
At Dunwoody, Jaz helps her students explore the ins and outs of 3D printing while using the design process to bring their ideas to life. Students learn and use Computer Aided Design (CAD) software to plan out their creations, then use the 3D printers to make it.
Jaz also works with younger students as well, both helping teachers to bring 3D printers into their classrooms and curriculums as well as leading workshops for students. One of her favorite projects with younger students is to design and print their own Bluetooth speakers!
While noticing challenges workers are facing during the pandemic, Jaz began using her 3D printing skills to help make working with a facemask a little more comfortable. The I AM Ear Hero is used to prevent irritation behind the ear from wearing face masks for long periods of time. Jaz used 3D Printing to initially create and donate I AM Ear Heros to front line and essential workers during Covid. Due to demand, she raised money to switch the manufacturing process to injection molding which would automate the process to create more Ear Heros. She has now donated more than 30,000 and continues to sell and donate them online. You can learn more at www.IAMEarHero.com
Outside of 3D printing, Jaz helps young inventors bring their ideas to life through as the director of the Young Inventors Challenge with People of Play. At the Young Inventors Challenge students get a chance to develop their design, invention, innovation and STEAM skills while creating a new toy or game. Students get to pitch their ideas to professionals in the toy and game industry to get judged and receive feedback.
Through all of her work Jaz hopes to help young people gain an interest in STEAM and help develop the skills needed to create and bring their ideas to life. Jaz truly lives her motto of “Aspire to Create. Create to Inspire.” Thank you Jaz for all of the amazing work you do!
This week as you are practicing your own STEAM skills, maybe you want to try designing with CAD (Computer Aided Design) software. TinkerCAD is a great entry level CAD tool that is freely available online. They even have challenges that can help you learn the controls and how to get started designing! Be sure to share anything you create!
Share Your CS to Go Projects!