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Cristo Rey Q & A with Emilio S.

Cristo Rey Q&A with Emilio S. (’22) 

Emilio is a senior at Cristo Rey with a love for art and design. After teaching himself about 3D design during quarantine, Emilio wanted to share his passion with other students at Cristo Rey. With the support of several faculty and staff members, the 3D Modeling Club at Cristo Rey was formed. The new club’s members - at one point 24! - have been meeting since September. In this Cristo Rey Q&A, junior Camila V. asks Emilio about starting the club, teaching other students, and trying new things. 

What inspired you to start the 3D Modeling club at Cristo Rey?
My own interest and passion for 3D printing and art inspired me to start the club. Since it can be hard to find likeminded people who share the interest, I wanted to promote art and STEM to my classmates. 

Were you aware there was an interest among other students? 
I did not know how the turnout of the club would be. At first, I was a bit worried that I would not have many students so I would mention it to classmates whenever I got the chance. I am especially thankful for my friends that not only came to the meetings but brought other people as well. As I told students about the club, and they saw the 3D printers and props in Mr. Durk's office, I could tell that there was growing interest in my club. 

What made you interested in design? 
I started learning how to design in 3D after the pandemic started, and I learned its potential for expressing my creativity and how it can impact the world. It was exceedingly difficult for me starting off because I had no one as a reference for help. Through the club I helped provide the initial help and exposure that I wished that I had when I first started designing. In the future I hope to study visual effects to tell stories and show emotions in new ways. 

Tell us a little about the process in creating the new club: who did you communicate your idea about the club? What support did you get? What sort of projects are you working on?  
When starting the club, I consulted with Mr. Crowley who I have worked with in the Robotics Club for multiple years. Mr. Durk was the one who helped me put everything together and was the person that caused the club to go from an idea to a real possibility. Thanks to his help I was able to get the 3D designing software on our Surface laptops and promote the club's activities. Additionally, Mr. Rodriguez, and Mr. Newark both provided plenty of help when it came to securing a room and chaperone for my club activities. 

In the club we are working on small projects that introduce diverse ways of utilizing the software, Blender, and what sorts of items can be designed on it. Currently, I am introducing the students to digital sculpting, which is my preferred method of designing and allows for lots of creative potential to be shown. 

What role do you have in the club? 
My role in the club is to teach and to help my classmates, and most of the time I offer individual help and show them how to do things directly. Since I am completely self-taught, I am aware of the concepts that some students might have a challenging time understanding. Learning how to teach has most definitely been more work than I anticipated but seeing what my fellow club members can put together makes it worthwhile. 

What are your plans for the club, and where do you see it going in the future?
My plans for the club right now are to have a final project that we can 3D print to wrap up the semester. It has been difficult to create lessons plans while keeping up with homework and college applications. If time allows, I would like to pick up the club again in spring with more planning and more meeting dates. 

Is there anything else you would like to share?
My advice to all students and everyone in general is to never be afraid to try out something new. When I started out with 3D design, I struggled with it for quite a while, and it has not been up until recently where my work has become better to the point where I can teach it. Pushing through the beginning stages of learning a new skill is always the most important gateway to new opportunities and talents.