Meet the Team: 3D Modeler Hannah Olson

 In 30 days of education

Learn more about one of MyStemKits.com’s co-founders, Hannah Olson. She discusses her background in animation and how that prepared her to do the 3D modeling for MyStemKits.

Meet the Team: 3D Modeler Hannah Olson

Hi everyone! Hannah here. I am one of the co-founders of MyStemKits.com, the 3D modeler who designs all the kits, and newly-minted blog writer! And as such, I figured I ought to tell you a bit about myself.

Contrary to what you might expect for a co-founder of an educational company that focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.), my background is in neither education nor STEM. In fact, as a student, I hated science. I was that unconventional brain that liked math and English, but had interest in neither history nor science. And I loved art. I took every art class and every math class I could fit into my schedule. And, in an attempt to combine math and art into a degree with a career, I decided on pursuing animation. I graduated at the top of my program from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where I majored in Animation and minored in Studio Arts.

While in college, I specialized in 3D modeling, which is essentially digital sculpture. Having played with clay and wire and woodcarving and papier- mâché growing up, I took to it immediately. Here was a medium I could use to create anything I could imagine. And the thing with animation – you have to be prepared to do just that. Because if you’re working in Hollywood, you never know what you’ll be asked to build next. Will it be a three-headed flying turtle, an FT-17 tank, or a photo-realistic human? It could be anything.

This background, this ready-for-anything atmosphere ended up preparing me really well for what I do with MyStemKits.com. I never know what the curriculum team is going to come up with next. (And honestly, half the time I still don’t know what it is after they tell me!) But that’s the beauty of our team. Our partner FCR-STEM (the Florida Center for Research in STEM) is made up of a wonderful team of teachers and content-area experts who work with me to design our kits. You’ll learn more about them later. They tell me what they need, they explain the math or the science behind it, and I create it – often through half a dozen iterations. One of my favorite parts of the job is that I get to learn. I’m constantly learning new things about math, science, and how kids learn. It’s fascinating. And I love science now. I only wish I’d gotten to enjoy it as much during school as I do at work. Hopefully, the next generation will be luckier.

After graduating college, I did some freelance graphic design and animation before being brought in on this project to help make education affordable.

At the time, I had never even seen a 3D printer, but I was really excited at the prospect of what we could do with this project. My creations would no longer be contained to a screen, but would get to exist in the real world. And, rather than simply entertaining people, I knew this would be a way I could help people and give back to the community. Not to mention, I would be a part of building the company from the ground up. For years I had wanted to become a teacher when I grew up. Of course, dreams change. But doing this, working here, I know I’m getting to help those who did become teachers. I have so much gratitude for the education I received and I’m proud to be able to help teachers in their vitally-important role.

Teachers do so much for our children and our nation. I’m so glad I can do something for them.

Ready to bring 3D printing into your school in a meaningful way? Click here to sign up for the package that best suits your needs!

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