P R O B L E M
My early passion for making led to my involvement at a public makerspace, starting in middle school, where I learned to use cutting-edge tools and materials. When I realized that my friends could not relate to the experiences I was having, their fascination with my making skills prompted me to found a Maker Club to democratize making at my high school.
When confronted with the ideation phase for the second large-scale project for MakeX, the maker club that I founded at my high school, I set the following rough parameters for the project: It should be 3D, include multiple physical aspects so that many students can be working on it at the same time, incorporate different maker tools and technology that could lead to lessons in the club, and it should have a deeper message or learning that comes out of it.
In thinking about that larger message, the club members and I discussed the unity that comes out of diversity — the idea that what makes every human in this world different, is also what brings us together.
P R O C E S S
The “Unity in Diversity” installation is a 3D wooden dodecahedron. Each patterned side was designed by a group of members in the club, with the overall theme being concentric patterns, or mandalas. While the details of each design is vastly different, the overall intricacy and multi-dimensional structure brings them together.
The students learned laser cutting as they went through the process of laser cutting their own designs, as well as 3D printing, in CAD-ing and printing 60 custom-angled brackets that hold the sides together at the correct angle. They also learned multiple woodshop tools and techniques through cutting the large-sized wood and beveling 60 edges, as well as worked with electronics to put a solar-paneled light inside the structure in order to create intricate shadows around it. Most importantly, the members learned the design and development phase, from concept, to completion, to exhibition of a large scale project. We exhibited the dodecahedron at the 2019 Bay Area Maker Faire and are looking to install it in the new Los Altos City Community Center.