Earlier this month, football star James Develin reached out to students to help him reimagine what’s possible for health and fitness through design thinking.
During the first Autodesk “Make It Big” webinar, Develin shared his vision for a new training and rehabilitation facility that inspires wellness through inventive uses of space. “I’m looking for creativity and a fresh set of eyes on an idea,” he said to the students, ages 13-19, who were tuned in. Develin also announced a new contest in which students could use Tinkercad or other tools to help him execute on his vision and have the chance to earn prizes.
In April, Develin officially announced his retirement after an impressive eight-year career as a fullback with the New England Patriots that saw him pave the way for three Super Bowl titles with the team. Since then, he has been collaborating with Autodesk on the newest iteration of the #AutodeskMakeItReal program for youth, which this year is inspired by his dream of designing and building a rehabilitation and fitness center in his home state of Pennsylvania.
A graduate of Brown University's mechanical engineering program, Develin has been enhancing his skills by learning new tools and workflows that architecture, engineering, and construction professionals use.
"I'm very proud and excited to be part of Autodesk's outreach to promote STEAM programs to our youth. I hope to provide today's students the same opportunities that I had, in order for them to learn and grow like I did throughout my schooling. Engineering and design is a field that I was drawn to because it allowed me to express my imagination and artistic capacity. I hope that with this partnership, we can shed more and more light on the many opportunities that exist in this field," said Develin.
Through a series of live webinars and design challenges that Develin is co-producing and co-hosting with Autodesk, Develin is relaying his learning to youth, whom he is engaging as his “design partners” as they explore new possibilities for innovating the built environment together.
“Make It Big,” the free webinar series, will continue monthly into May. It includes prizes for students whose designs demonstrate technical skill, creativity, and consideration for social and environmental impact. The contest is open to students in the United States and Canada, and the webinar is open to anyone.
In the second episode, students will be introduced to a diverse panel of architects and designers who are innovating the built environment. This is a chance for students to ask questions to James and the panel that will bring students’ skills to the next level.
Although this webinar is directed at students ages 13-19, adults such as educators or parents are also welcome to join!
Register for the next episode Thursday, January 21 at 7 p.m. EST here.