CHICAGO — What’s more Chicago than the Chicago flag? A Chicago flag made up of smaller sculptures that portray the people and places that make it such a unique city.
Students at Lane Tech High School in North Center each created the 126 unique pieces of the mosaic using 3-D printers, 3-D carvers, and laser cutters in the school’s unique LTMaker Lab.
Teacher Jeff Solin said each student was randomly assigned a square and told they could make whatever they wanted out of it, with many choosing to show their Chicago pride while others came up with other unique ideas, like a striking set of pointy teeth. There’s even an Eiffel Tower in there for good measure.
“Some of the stuff that the kids did just blew my mind,” Solin said. “There’s just unique ideas and uses of the tools that I never thought of.”
Solin said soon after he helped build the maker lab at Lane he learned that all it took to unleash kids’ creativity was to show them how to use the cutting-edge tools inside. Their own passions – from the Bears to Kanye – move them to use the machines to make something new.
“The coolest stuff that comes from this lab has all come from kids, nothing that was prescribed from me,” Solin said.
A computer scientist by trade, Solin said he left the tech industry 16 years ago to teach, and he still learns something new every day as he applies the iterative design process of technology to building things like the LTMaker Lab.
“I lost all the money I was making and haven’t looked back for a second,” he said.
Solin detailed the entire in a post on Medium.
You can see some of the pieces of the mosaic in the slideshow below- Solin shared details on how it was made and additional photos in a post on Medium.