At Mount Vernon, we choose to wander and to wonder. We seek to create a learning environment that invites all people to follow the sparks of motivation, interest, and curiosity as far as they can take them. We seek to provide paths of curiosity. We seek to nurture experiences of deep purpose and joyful play. We seek to model a living, learning mindset that constantly adapts and expands.
Why does Mount Vernon hold this as a value? Simply stated, for a modern day seeker and explorer like Robbie Long, Class of 2021.
Connecting People, Ideas, Sectors
In the 2017-2018 school year, Mount Vernon joined forces with Dell’s Alienware, an industry leader in virtual reality (VR) and gaming. In April, Dell officially launched their national flagship virtual reality lab right here at MV, as a way to influence learning through empathy. Robbie and his classmates, networking with their serial entrepreneur teacher Marie Graham, have been given the honor to work on projects that connect people, ideas, and sectors and have an authentic impact. Creating immersive VR content, MV is currently partnering with the Center for Civil and Human Rights and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA).
While Dell invested a great deal of technology into the Mount Vernon’s VR Lab, Robbie and his classmates discovered the need for a missing component–a VR glove. While creating content for young patients at CHOA who must navigate the challenges of rehabilitation (those who are cancer survivors or have experienced tragic accidents), Robbie recognized the need for hospitalized children to have a more natural way to use their hands rather than using the VR controllers. Their hands were just too weak to hold the controllers.
Robbie Long is passionate about learning, doing, and making an impact. Given the opportunity, he took the reigns to prove he is a seeker and explorer.
Nurturing Deep Learning Experiences
Following the sparks of empathy and motivation, Robbie made a pitch to Noitom Technology, Ltd. Noitom (motion spelled backwards) “focuses its research and development on mapping the human body, its movement and interaction with the environment.” Impressed by his plan, Noitom invested in Robbie’s project by releasing a VR glove to Mount Vernon that has not yet been released to the public. This will allow Robbie to further his work by making an impact on pediatric rehab patients.
Wow! This was not my school experience. How about yours?
Among a standing-room-only crowd of tech industry experts, parents, students, and members of the local community, Mount Vernon and Dell Alienware officially launched its national flagship virtual reality lab.Robbie’s story reflects the essence of seeking and exploring at Mount Vernon:
- a school that is agile, flexible, and responsive to the needs of students and teachers;
- a teacher providing open paths of curiosity and nurturing deep learning experiences;
- and a student confidently advocating for himself and his peers in order to impact others.
On this journey of seeking and exploring, one of our greatest contributions as leaders is to provide an environment to assist in developing compassionate, influential leaders–they are givers rather than takers, they serve rather than be served, they build up rather than tear down, and they step up rather than stand down.
Whether it’s a Preschooler imagining on the Frontier, a second grader designing the next big idea, a sixth grader exploring space at NASA’s Space Camp, or an Innovation Diploma student consulting with Porsche, AT&T, Chick-fil-a, or Delta Airlines, Mount Vernon students have an increased accessibility to build creative, entrepreneurial muscles as well as to participate in and design a better world.