STEAM Week – Mason Dukes

National STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) day was on Sunday, November 8, 2020. In honor of this day, the District will be highlighting students with a passion for STEAM. 

Lights, Camera, Action! Sycamore High School Senior Mason Dukes first started working on lighting production as a volunteer at his church, setting up lighting before each service. He was able to dive deeper into stage lighting when he joined the Technical Entertainment Crew  (T.E.C.) as a freshman at SHS.

Dukes programs lights as a way of expressing himself. “I have never been artistically talented on a canvas, but when I have all of these lights around me, I see that as my canvas— where I paint with these lights.” 

The largest production Dukes has worked on thus far has been “Orchesis 2020: Dancing Inside Out.” He was able to try different effects that he was not able to achieve before, and it was one of his favorite projects to work on. Receiving input from the choreographers, T.E.C. members, and staff advisors also helped him in creating the wow factor of the show!  

When asked who has helped him in deepening his passion for light programming, he mentioned T.E.C. advisors Mr. Helm and Mr. Olson. “I have definitely come to them with some crazy ideas over the last three years. They have really helped me balance out what is possible and what we are able to accomplish with the imagination and visions that I have for the productions I have worked on.” 

While Dukes does not see himself pursuing lighting design at a professional capacity after high school, he hopes  he can continue it as a hobby. “Being in T.E.C.  is how I have been able to meet my best friends and how I have been able to deal with stress and express myself.” 

Dukes says that being able to have this in his life has been an incredible opportunity and hopes to create more experiences like this if he can. “I am grateful for the opportunities that Sycamore has given me and the new experiences, you can’t find that at a lot of high schools. It is super cool and I am very grateful for it.”