Stanford math student supports feminism and STEM education through experience with Autodesk software
Stanford University junior Irene Jeon is majoring in math and computational science with no formal design training background, but that didn’t stop her from accepting a KiraKira internship focused on 3D design.
That’s because the mission of KiraKira—a platform where educators inspire girls to develop design and innovation skills through STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) education, hopefully inspiring a future career—aligns closely to Jeon’s personal passions and advocacy work for women’s rights and education.
So when Jeon learned being part of KiraKira meant learning how to tackle 3D design, she jumped at the challenge. In the process, Jeon cut her design teeth interacting with Tinkercad and Autodesk Fusion 360 along with KiraKira students, and the experience proved to be inspirational.
Tinkercad was an ideal beginning tool for 3D modeling, helping Jeon establish what she called “the 3D mindset.”
“I loved working on Tinkercad because it was so intuitive and broken down to easy concept. Tinkercad allows you to train yourself to think in 3D and become familiar with basic concepts.”
Jeon also outlined how “the graduation from Tinkercad to Fusion” was a smooth process, adding that using Fusion 360 is “a great way to think spatially and build digitally.”
Interacting with the Autodesk tools certainly helped Jeon overcome any concerns she had about having no design experience, she explained.
“Because my skill level in 3D modeling couldn’t keep up with my designs as they became more complex and intricate, I tended to stop myself and design only certain small things that seemed plausible for me to build,” said Jeon.
“But don’t be afraid to start making! You can’t really learn if you only play around with the tools you know how to use. My 3D modeling vastly improved when I attempted to make designs that are more complex,” she added.
The entire KiraKira experience not only kindled a desire to become more involved in design, but it also strengthened Jeon’s passion for feminism and STEM education.
“Interacting with young girls (without any previous exposure to 3D modeling) augmented my faith in KiraKira—seeing them have fun while learning engineering fundamentals for the first time from female makers was very humbling and inspiring on my end.”
As for design, Jeon said she has always had an interest in art, but up until KiraKira, she never had the chance to pursue design academically.
“I learned that anyone can start designing, and that I shouldn’t be afraid to start making. I’m not sure where my career aspirations will take me, but I hope to see myself connected with art and design.”
Watch this video of Jeon discussing her KiraKira experience.