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As part of an ongoing effort to enhance student interest in education and hands-on learning, Christopher Duquet Fine Jewelry Design has partnered with Northwestern University’s FUSE program. This program focuses on engaging pre-teens and teens in their own education, particularly in science, technology, engineering, arts/design and mathematics, topics referred to as STEAM areas by FUSE.

Christopher Duquet designer Terran Lyn Sapp was approached by a customer who was connected with Northwestern’s Office of STEM Education Partnerships. He suggested the custom jeweler pair up with the University’s program to encourage youth interest in computer aided design (CAD). FUSE works by supplying interested teens with challenges that they can solve to gain badges.

Ms. Sapp saw this as an opportunity to further general interest in CAD work and to spur young girls to look into design work through jewelry. So she wrote a small challenge involving jewelry design for the program.

The FUSE program has been implemented in many local schools, with classes that can be taken as independent study. “Some projects are things like programming a robot. … Mine was focused on spatial stuff, jewelry design and 3D concepts,” Ms. Sapp said.

After taking this first step, Ms. Sapp continued the partnership by becoming a mentor in the Chicago Summer of Learning Program. This involved a week-long program where she helped students become familiar with CAD machines donated by Northwestern and advised the children on their designs. Mr. Duquet and Ms. Sapp hope to continue these partnerships next summer and throughout the year by supplying challenges regularly to FUSE and mentoring more students.

“It went really well and was very encouraging for a lot of the kids we worked with. Most of the students involved are from the inner city and aren’t exposed to this kind of work, so it was really fun to design with them,” said Ms. Sapp.