Creative STEAM project presented to school resource officer

ROCHELLE — Creativity combined with skills learned in a STEAM lab class made for one heartfelt gift for Officer Jim Jakymiw, resource officer for the Rochelle Elementary School District.

Rochelle Middle School student Tommy Tourdot presented Jakymiw with the name plate and banner during lunch hour Tuesday. The seventh grader used several pieces of lab equipment, including a CNC mill that was purchased with funds from the Farmers Insurance grant RMS won a few years ago. 

Tourdot and the students in the lab were challenged to design and create a project of their own using the lab equipment and supplies during a recent unit in the STEAM program. RMS teacher Vic Worthington explained Tourdot used the CNC mill, sewing machine and embroidery machine to create the name plate and banner for Jakymiw’s new office at the middle school.

“Tommy used graphic design software to program the design of the nameplate wording into the milling machine, then worked with RMS paraprofessional Gwen New to create the banner on the lab’s sewing equipment,” Worthington said. “He tried several different layouts and materials for the milled plate, but the blue plastic square seemed to work the best.”

The project involved learning how to use the milling software and cutting the plates along with the embroidery and sewing.

“I was astonished and honored to see what Tommy made for me,” Jakymiw said. Not only because he made it all by himself using technology I don’t even know how to use, but because he could have made something cool for himself but instead chose to make this name plate and banner for me and my office.”

The banner hangs in Jakymiw’s office.

“Tommy also spent some time teaching a few of his classmates to operate the CNC mill as well. I’m really proud of him,” Worthington added.

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