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STEAM Newsletter: Spotlight on innovations, creations, and collaborations

New laser cutter: Thunder Laser Nova 35, 100W

The makerspace has upgraded from our previous laser to a brand new 100 watt laser! Come by the makerspace to check it out and experience it first hand! Derek Tatevoissian ’29 was the first to use the new laser cutter to create the puzzle below.

Laster Cutter + Puzzle

Cardboard Boat Regatta

The annual Cardboard Boat Regatta for physics students is nearly here! We have 21 teams competing to see who can make the toughest boat and paddle across the Flintridge Prep pool. Students will build their boats on campus May 14 and 16, from 2:40 - 4:10 p.m. Off-campus building is permitted. The regatta will take place 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 17. May the best-engineered boat win!

Interview with Hannah DeMerit ’25

Hanna proudly wears the dress she made at prom

Hannah DeMerit is an 11th grader at Flintridge Prep who participates in the robotics program, the jellyfish lab, in addition to her rigorous academic schedule. And yet, she still finds time for her own independent projects, including her handmade prom dress. 

After first getting into sewing in 10th grade, Hannah started with a shirt. “[I] definitely started on way too complex a thing,” she laughs. “Thankfully, Ms. Russell [went] through every single step with me.”  

Ms. Rachel Russell, an experienced sewist who works in the Communications office, helped Hanna work through two more projects as Hannah honed her skills and developed independence.

In contrast to her first shirt, now “we read the instructions and I just do it completely by myself, unless the machine breaks down. There's definitely been a learning curve, from me needing help and [her] showing me how to do it. Now I just can read an instruction and think, ‘Okay, this is what I need to do now.’” 

Hannah’s enthusiasm for sewing is matched by her passion for sharing with others. When asked to give advice to other future sewists, she talked at length. “There's are a lot of different ways you can go about that. We have the two sewing machines here in the Makerspace. I teach other people how to sew, and Ms. Russell is a great resource.” She continued, “I can help if you're more interested in learning the basic techniques, but if you want to do a full project, I definitely recommend reaching out to Ms. Russell.” 

What comes next? Hannah had a wide smile “I'm actually meeting with Ms. Russell on Monday to talk about my dress next year.” And the style?  “I like making more eccentric dresses. But this time, I'm going for a more ethereal look … I might get into cosplay or something like that.” Whatever the end result is, it will surely be a hit at next year’s prom! 

Classroom spotlight: Michelle Gee’s 3D printing project

What do the challenges of Nokabe, a Japanese game show, and Michelle Gee’s geometry class have in common? In Nokabe, contestants have to contort in order to fit through shapes that are hurtling towards them to avoid being thrown into water. In geometry, students were tasked with designing shapes with a 3D modeling website called TinkerCAD that could fit tightly through different shapes when rotated on a certain axis. For instance: what shape can fit through a circle on one axis and a triangle on another? (ans: cone). 


The project was inspired by a prompt math teacher Mr. Ishii gave his students: to invent a shape that could fit through THREE shapes on different axes: a circle, square, and triangle. One of his students, junior Sabine Hemann, came into the Makerspace to 3D print her solution (bottom left). The idea for a larger scale geometry class challenge was born, and many more solutions were designed and printed by 7th, 8th, and 9th grade geometry students (bottom right). This is just one example of how ideas blend and multiply in the Makerspace!

project examples

4th quarter Makerspace in pictures

History 8 students made posters, pins, and small objects like axes to represent their reformers.

history projects

Design Thinking students made pinball machines using all wood.

design thinking pin ball machines

Juniors and seniors designed masks for prom

students make masks for prom

The 9th-grade World History students created apparel and props for their role-play activity, including baskets for wool merchants and sewing priest-like garments.

apparel and props for role-play activity

Looking for a fun activity? Try a bath bomb!

Whether it is for your own relaxation or a belated Mother’s Day gift, try this bath bomb recipe courtesy of Assistant Makerspace Coordinator Jessie Ricker.

Project and equipment ideas

Interested in doing a new project or adding equipment/materials to the makerspace? Please reach out Dr. Frewen