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Part 2. Creativity in STEM - Gaining New Technical Skills

By: Sarah Han (PAST Foundation Graphic Design Intern, Spring 2023)

When I started the internship, I expected to create illustrations for PAST from the start, so I was surprised when I only had two drawing projects during the entire semester. Graphics and art are incorporated into many of the PAST Foundation’s educational projects, ranging largely in topic and delivery. Each project is uniquely different and uses different components, techniques, and skills. As a graphic design intern, I gained new technical skills, including beginner skills/knowledge in video editing and vectorizing images.

Video Editing

One of the first things I did as an intern was to learn how to navigate through a platform called Biteable. Biteable is a video editing website that allows you to easily create short videos using provided templates. I had very little experience editing videos, but thankfully the website was easy to use and understand, and very similar to some of the apps I use for editing time-lapse videos of my drawings. I had the opportunity to edit two videos, one with mentor guidance and one without. Both videos were approved by my mentor, and the platform was easy to use and also easy to teach others on using it. This finding led me to the opportunity of participating in a PAST staff Lunch & Learn session (more information about this experience in Blog #4).

Vectorizing Images

Before the internship, I didn’t know what vectorizing images meant. Normal images, when changing the size, can lower the quality of the overall file. Vectorizing them, as mentioned by Pikes Peak Library District (ppld) and Lutkevich, is a process where you change pixel images into a mathematical formula, allowing you to scale the image without changing the quality. Processes like this show that creativity and STEM go hand in hand, as STEM is a combination of creativity and technical concepts/ skills.

Towards the second half of the internship, I was directed by my mentor to two projects involving drawings, which were eventually approved to be vectorized. With the guidance of my mentor, I utilized Adobe Illustrator for the process. Simply put, the process mainly consisted of uploading the image, turning them into (individual) lines in the program, deleting any excess components (e.g., background), and adding color. Though I wasn’t able to fully learn the specifics or get much experience with the process, I was able to gain a better understanding of what it is and why it’s useful.

The PAST Foundation not only gave me many opportunities to grow as a student, but they also gave me a chance to grow and continue to sell myself as an aspiring professional in the art field.


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