Youth Projects


After School 3D Printing Workshops for Girls

Columbia Middle School, Sunnyvale, CA. A Sunnyvale Library Make-HER STEM grant funded program. Program served 25 middle school girls in a free after school 3D printing workshop series. October through November, 2017.


Unraveling The Knot

An exploration of Japanese and Celtic knotting traditions in a range of materials that invite reflection on cultural connections. Conducted at Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Ireland and in San Jose, CA. Partnering organization are the Alum Rock Educational Foundation and the Chester Beatty Library. Made possible through a San Jose Arts and Cultural Exchange Grant Project, 2017. Project website:  Video:


Prototyping Public Spaces

September 2016. Saint James Park, San Jose, CA. A community pop-up makerspace exploring place making. This was a collaboration with the Alum Rock Educational Foundation. Project funded by the San Jose Parks and Rec Department.


After School Girl 3D Printing Club

December 2015-to present. (photos of club meetings) Students will explore Tinkercad, Sculptris, Meshmixer and 123D Design.

Teen After School 3D Printing Club

Pinewood School, November 2015 to present. (photos of club meetings) Students will explore Tinkercad, Sculptris, Meshmixer, 123D Design and Fusion360.


Luz de la Comunidad/ Aztec New Year LED light bracelets

This Alum Rock Educational Foundation workshops series were conducted in two Alum Rock Middle Schools. It was also conducted as a pop-up event at the ScreenPrint Showdown on January 30th, 2016, and was also a pop-up workshop in Japantown San Jose on March 6th from 10am-2pm next to Roy's Station Coffee Shop. This project is made possible with in-kind donations from the TechShopSJ and the San Jose Public Library.

Photos from Luz de la Comunidad Pop-Up Makerspace (January 30th)


Build a Habitat for Mars, Children's Creativity Museum, San Francisco, CA.  11:00AM to 12:30PM & 1:30PM to 3:00PM, January 9th, 2016. Drop in Workshop. If you built a home on Mars, what would it look like? How could you make it homey while also protective from the cold and harsh environment of Mars? Using materials such as LED lights, pager motors, clay, batteries, pipe cleaners and an array of recycled materials, children will build prototypes of what they envision for off world living. Before you take your completed design home, take a photo of it in our Mars landscape stage! This workshop will take place in the Inspiration Studio. Drop-in, ages 7+


Viva CalleSJ, October 2015 and 2016. Downtown, and Japantown San Jose.

Public workshop inviting the public to make pinwheels and bike cards for their bikes during the Viva CalleSJ event.  A collaboration with the Alum Rock Educational Foundation.



Calavera 3D Printing Teen Workshops

A 3D design and printing workshops using Tinkercad to create personalized skulls honoring people special in students' lives. Workshops held at Dr. Roberto Cruz Library, Alum Rock, San Jose, CA. Workshops on 9/23/14 and 10/2/14. Installation of 3D printed skulls ran from 10/20/14-11/17/14

Instructable lesson plan


Youth Art & Design Thinking Camp

A six week middle school student summer camp developed in collaboration with the Alum Rock Educational Foundation. This program has been running since the summer of 2013.


Bike and Pedestrian Overpass Art

2011 - 2014— 101/Tully and 101/Capitol Expressway, San Jose, CA

Takara served as a consultant to the VTA and San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs. She designed and conducted middle school art workshops exploring pattern and community identity. Participating students were sixth graders at Renaissance Academy at Mathson, Alum Rock, San Jose. The resulting designs, created both on paper and digitally, were integrated into the patterns on the pedestrian/bike pathway pillars and on the concrete lane dividers.

blog post // another blog post // project photos


A Serving of Shapes 3D Printing Teen Workshops

January 14th, 2014 // Dr. Roberto Cruz Library, San Jose, CA

January 25th, 2014 // Mayfair Community Center, San Jose, CA

event photos


Seeking Shelter

The project was piloted in 2011 and was expanded in 2012.

This multi-school and multi-state project engaged youth in envisioning innovative bus stop shelters which address community and environmental needs. Cardboard prototype designs and SketchUp 3D rendered models were judged by an international panel of architects, designers and public transit authority engineers. High school through elementary school students participated, and the one school in Azerbaijan participating turned the project into an international one.

project website

event photos


Special Spots

A youth project engaging high schools, middle schools and elementary schools in developing art concepts to inform the real design of 8 rapid transit bus stop shelters in San Jose. Students mapped their personal transit paths through their communities and create automata which integrate this data as well as explore their written thoughts and reflection on special places in their community. Schools: Silver Creek High School (5 classes of Art 1), Renaissance Academy @ Mathson ( three 6th grade classes), Mildred Goss Elementary (two 5th grade classes), Horace Mann Elementary (two 5th grade classes).

project website


Wrap It Up Videos

This middle school project engaged youth in creating video interviews of mural artists in Japantown, San Jose. The videos were then integrated into QR codes on the physical murals. Student also created collaborative murals of colored mesh to add to the mural site.

project website


You Are Here Street Banners

Two classes of 5th grade students in San Jose and one class on the island of Hawaii created textile designs reflecting on local community visual vocabulary. They used VoiceThread to discuss and explore each other’s pattern designs. They created digital textile designs and created Japanese furoshiki wrapping cloths. With an expanded understanding of visual vocabulary, the San Jose students then photographed their neighborhood using single use cameras. Collaboratively they created street banners from the photos and the digital patterns they created from the photos using the program Repper. Students presented their street banner designs to a local business group and to the San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs for approval and installation. Students also taught components of the workshops to the public at the Montalvo Art Center’s Art Splash.

project website

banner for strawberries on gold mt.jpg

Picking Strawberries on Gold Mountain stop motion

4th and 5th graders at Cureton Elementary in San Jose created collaborative claymation videos about the history of San Jose’s Chinatown, Heinlenville. Before creating their animations, the students examined real artifacts from the excavation of site and wrote their inferences and observations. Working in teams of 3 and 4, the students wrote storyboards, scripts and created their animations frame by frame. A Chinese immersion elementary school in Cupertino created the music for the video. The final videos are in the Next Vista for Learning video library.

project website


Thinking Outside the Box stop motion

4th and 5th graders at Cuerton Elementary in San Jose created a collaborative animation that represented their ideas on “thinking outside the box”. Students worked in teams to film and move the clay parts. They narrated each of their own sequences using the free tool Audacity. The narration part deeply engaged the ESL students as they could keep recording their voice until they were happy with their audio. Students explored importing and organizing still images in the free animation tool Monkey Jam. Final editing was done in Premiere Elements.

project website


Stop Motion Classroom

An education resource site Takara created for bringing stop motion animation into the classroom.

stop motion website

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 1.42.20 PM.png

Digital Textile Design

Education website Takara created for digital textile design explorations at San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles.

digital textile design website


In the Garden of Wishes Student Collaborative Tapestries

2007 — San Jose, CA

San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles

This workshop series engaged two classes of 5th grade students at Stevens Creek Elementary in Cupertino and at Cuerton Elementary in Alum Rock, San Jose, California. It resulted in two mixed media quilts that were hung in the windows of the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles during Takara’s In the Garden of Wishes show. The in-school workshops invited students to collect food wrappers and other cultural artifacts from home as an exercise in exploring visual vocabularies. The students then pressed these materials into hand-made papers. Using these papers they cut out silhouetted figures of themselves. The students placed their figures into clear baggies and wrote a message about their dreams from their future. The baggies were exchanged between the schools and the students wrote replies and placed them into the baggies to exchange back. The baggies were then sewn into two quilts to display from the front windows of the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. A student reception was held at the museum at which students from both schools met.