The STEAM Capstone Class of 2020 was the first class of its kind at Ionia High School. The culminating course in the STEAM pathway, students are already well-versed with FANUC Robot technology, 3D printing, and graphic design software when they enter the class. The STEAM Capstone allows participants to use their new skills to solve a real-world problem while collaborating with a business partner in the community. This year, the goal of the course was to standardize the use of all IHS Identities (logos), give guidelines on how and when certain ones may be used, and create a unifying school image that would bring the school community closer together. The underlying issue was the largely unregulated use of school identities and the use of unofficial graphics in their place. To solve this, the course participants partnered with IHS Principal Ben Gurk to update existing school Identities and create internet and print based platforms to provide people access to the correct Identities and inform them about their correct usage.
About the Students
As of the birth of the STEAM Capstone, Kyle Baxter was an aspiring author and Ionia High School student. He had experience in graphic design 3D modeling and printing as well as public speaking. With a chance to make a difference and help his community, he leapt at the chance to join the course. Having taken the other classes of the STEAM pathway the next logical step was to take a stab at the pathways final step, the STEAM Capstone. He was excited to have the opportunity to try project based learning in a team environment and looked forward to working with his compatriots.
Before participating in STEAM Capstone 2020, Adam Beckhorn had completed Graphics 1 and Robotics. Adam's goals for his STEAM Capstone were to get experience working on team projects and with other people's ideas. He was inspired to join STEAM Capstone after he learned he was eligible to join after taking previous courses. He really enjoyed using the software to get creative with Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
At the time that the 2020 STEAM Capstone class started, Garrett Siemen had previously completed two STEAM Pathway courses: the FANUC Robotics Certification course and one semester of Digital Design (Graphics 1). Garrett came into the Capstone course with the goal of growing in his leadership and organizational skills. As an aspiring Air Force Developmental Engineer, he wanted to grow his skills involving the guidance of the development process. Another goal of his was to help future STEAM Capstone courses. By working with Mrs. Fuller during the inaugural class, he hoped to make the Capstone process smoother and more developed for future years.
A curious and adventurous soul, Ben Toaz fell down the rabbit hole of the STEAM Pathway much like Alice into Wonderland. A brief glimpse at the FANUC robot arm and the platoon of 3D printers in his sophomore year had him hooked for the rest of his high school career and ultimately inspired him to pursue engineering and entrepreneurship in his college studies. In his work in the STEAM Capstone Course, he thoroughly enjoyed developing his technical skills with graphic design and helping the STEAM Program make a positive impact on Ionia High School.
Special thanks to our instructor and mentor Mrs. Danna Fuller for giving us the skills to perform in this project and for being one of the most positive and encouraging people on Earth. Her guidance was instrumental in our execution of every aspect of this course and without her, the world would be a much less happy and colorful place. Special thanks also to Principal Ben Gurk, the initiator and business partner of the course. We have appreciated this opportunity to gain meaningful experience in the graphic design field, and have enjoyed working with him a great deal over the past semester. We hope that our work will continue to be useful to the school and community and further IHS's commitment to excellence every day. Finally, thank you to the entire staff at IHS for giving us a supportive, safe learning environment and for giving us the tools to change our lives for the better. We owe a lot to all of them, and we will look back on our days at IHS with smiles on our faces.