John Allwine

Inspiring Tomorrow's Makers

Since childhood, John’s been creating visual, interactive programs that simulate reality. His early start in programming led to him getting a web developer position at O’Reilly Media in high school and on and off throughout college. Out of college, John was hired as an effects artist at DreamWorks Animation where he learned all about visual effects in animated feature films. He worked on How To Train Your Dragon, Megamind and Madagascar 3 before leaving DreamWorks to pursue ideas of his own. He started his own company, Freakin’ Sweet Apps, whose latest project creates 3D models of knots that can be 3D printed as desk art, jewelry, gear shifts and more. He now teaches computer graphics at MSU and also oversees the STEAMlab at the Children’s Museum of Bozeman where he curates curriculum and coordinates with industry professionals to teach STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) related topics to children.

Coding is tied into everything these days from 3D printing and CNC, to circuits and robotics, to video games and film, to music and art. The Children’s Museum of Bozeman STEAMlab aims to give children a project based, hands-on, mentor-led experience to get them excited about what’s possible with today’s technology. John shares how he was inspired to start programming by a volunteer industry professional, the career path it led to and how he’s trying to bring similar experiences to children through the STEAMlab.