After participating in the Design Connect Program contest on Sept. 26. two Benjamin Carson High School seniors, Tasnim Dina and Mahbuba Sumiya, brought home $4,000 after winning third and first place, respectively.
Design Connect is a mentorship program where students propose designs and products for the year 2050. According to its website, Design Connect is an official partner of Detroit Public Schools Community District, DESIGNCONNECT strives to set creative high school students on pathways to careers in the creative design industry.
English teacher and mentor at BCHS Shannon Waite partnered with the organization during her creative writing course the year prior essentially making the program accessible to her students. The students got the opportunity to be partnered with design and engineering mentors that helped them develop and advance their ideas and of course due to COVID-19, the mentoring continued virtually.
“I was always someone who had a great interest in art and the medical field,” senior Tasnim Dina said. “So when I found out about this opportunity that combined both of these things. I knew I had to participate.”
“Of the pool of students who submitted, only five finalists were chosen to move on to the next round,” Waite said.
Sumiya's winning design was a cane/walking stick with an app for people who are hard of sight or blind.
Dina said her design “was a watch that incorporates visual, auditory, and aromatherapy components to sense and minimize autistic meltdowns.”
Waite said Sumiya created a prototype for hers.
“I mainly got interested in this contest because I had a project in mind for science fair,” Sumiya said. “It was a topic that was close to home.”
The win was a point of pride for BCHS.
“I think the wins by the girls casts our school positively,” assistant principal Myron Montgomery said. “The win reflects the opportunities available for students here at Ben Carson High School.”
The finalists included three students from DSA along with Dina and Sumiya.
“All five did a great job, with a few having a really great future in design,” Waite said.