Profiled: Jaymes Dec

Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi, my name is Jaymes Dec and I am a technology integrator and teacher at the Marymount School of New York, a K-12 independent all-girls school in Manhattan. I opened a digital fabrication facility at the school in September 2011. I teach classes in digital design and fabrication, physical computing, and computer programming for Grades 4 – 9.

I am also a member of the HTINK cooperative, a group of educators and technologists that share a mission to spread technical learning and creative problem solving skills to as many people as possible. Right now we are about to launch The Makery, a series of pop-up Makerspaces for youth and families. We hope that someday we can go beyond pop-up and have a permanent space for the community to come and learn about creative computing.

I wish I had more time to master 3D design myself. With tools like TinkerCAD, I don’t believe that you need to be an expert to teach 3D design. I do believe that we learn best by designing, making, and testing our own ideas about the world around us. TinkerCAD let’s the teacher get out of the way so that students can really learn.

Democratizing the means of design and manufacturing will help more people become creative problem solvers; so we’ll solve more problems!

How did you get into 3D design?
In 2007 I graduated from the Interactive Telecommunication Program at NYU. I wanted to teach kids to use the tools that I had learned about in grad school: Arduino and Processing. So I found myself teaching at GreenFab, a high-school program in the South Bronx that aimed to teach programming, design, and electronic engineering through classes on sustainable design and green technologies. We were using SketchUp to teach about 3D design. But I did not really get into 3D design until I got my hands on a MakerBot 3D printer in the Fall 2011. Now I have seven of them!

Do you think web-based 3D design will change the world?
Absolutely. Democratizing the means of design and manufacturing will help more people become creative problem solvers; so we’ll solve more problems!

Do you own your own 3D printer?
Yes, at Marymount we have six MakerBot Thing-o-matics and one Replicator. We have over 600 students and they all want to design and make things, so we need to have enough printers to accommodate them! I have special places in my heart for open source hardware and Brooklyn, so getting MakerBots was the only option.

What am I most passionate about?
According to my mom, “besides your wife, you are most passionate about technology”. I guess in a lot of ways, I am still a kid. My lab is like a digital playground that I got to design myself. I just really like designing, making, and playing. My tools and toys just happen to be technological.

Words I live by…
“Create your own path.” Before I went back to grad school, I started my own business building team building scavenger hunts for corporate clients all over the world. I’ve never applied for a job listing. I’ve always created my own jobs or approached schools and companies and convinced them that they should hire me. To me, it does not make sense to apply for jobs that are listed, because then you are competing against all the other applicants. Figure out what you enjoy doing and then just find a way to start doing it.

What design are you the most proud of?
Katie’s Ironman. I think we all were impressed that she made such an intricate design after only a few months of using the software.

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