Computers help Ivy Tech campers with jewelry design

Camp blends artistic abilities with science, technology, engineering and mathematics

By April Toler
331-4353 | atoler@heraldt.com
June 25, 2013

Sitting in a computer lab at Ivy Tech Community College, Lucy Anderson worked diligently to complete a 3-D design of a keychain.

A couple of days into last week’s SUCCESSorize camp, the 12-year-old was on a roll, having already created a ring and two pendants — one resembling Mickey Mouse, the other marked with a V for volleyball.

“I think it’s really fun,” she said. “I like how (the computer program) Rhino is very new and then it’s really cool that these (volunteers) get to help you. The first day it was kind of hard because I didn’t really get it, but now I’m getting the hang of it.”

About nine girls, between sixth and eighth grade, took part in last week’s SUCCESSorize camp hosted by Ivy Tech.

Throughout the week, campers tapped into both their artistic abilities and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, concepts by creating jewelry using Rhinoceros computer software.

Their designs were then printed into actual products, which the students then painted.

Developed three years ago, the camp aims at encouraging young females to explore science and engineering, while also having fun.

“We’ve always tried to recruit women into science, technology, engineering and math areas,” said Kirk Barnes, dean of Ivy Tech’s School of Technology. “I think a lot of the perception we needed to change is that you can use science and technology, engineering concepts but you can use it in a way that’s fun for girls, too. It’s not just rockets and race cars.”

In addition to creating their own jewelry, each camper was also responsible for creating their own business plan that included how they would sell and market their jewelry.

The entrepreneurial side of things is something Joyce Poling, assistant to the chancellor for community engagement, said many artists find a hard time grasping.

“One thing we find particularly in this community, we have a lot of artists, and often they love their art but they don’t like to think about the business part of it,” Poling said. “We often have them come into the Cook Center for Entrepreneurship to talk about how I love what I’m doing but how do I earn a living?”

Although creating jewelry is fun, it’s the business aspect that initially attracted Sophie Whikehart to the camp.

This was the second year Sophie, 12, attended SUCCESSorize. Creator of “Neptunian Designs,” Sophie’s designs this year were inspired by the sea.

“It’s really cool because basically you can design anything and then it will just print it out, which is cool,” she said as she put the finishing touches on a narwhal pendant.

Like many of her fellow campers, although creating jewelry is fun, it was the idea of using a computer to do so that seemed to really impress them.

“I think that it makes it more exciting to know you are doing it in a different way than just piecing things together to create jewelry,” Sophie said. “So I definitely like doing it on the computer.”

There are currently spots available in three upcoming Ivy Tech camps: Girls Camp of Rock, Ivy Arts for Kids, and the Youth Musical Theater Ensemble. For more information, visit services.bloomington.ivytech.edu/youthcamps.

Margaret Comentale (left) and Sophie Whikehart work on their jewelry during a College For Kids class at Ivy Tech. David Snodgress | Herald-Times

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Margaret Comentale carefully paints a ring during a College For Kids class at Ivy Tech. David Snodgress | Herald-Times

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Joy Bhattacharya takes a close view of her pendents as she paints them during a College For Kids class at Ivy Tech. David Snodgress | Herald-Times

Copyright: HeraldTimesOnline.com 2013

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.