New to MVPS, Jim Tiffin, Director of Media and Maker Programs, has taken the typical school bulletin board to a whole new level. Using telephone wire, copper tape, fast-blinking LEDs, a pair of AA batteries, some foam board, and two of the new Mount Vernon Mind posters, he transformed a wall on the Founders Campus into a life-sized, intriguingly interactive board, demonstrating our six Mindsets: Communicator, Collaborator, Creative Thinker, Ethical Decision Maker, Innovator and Solution Seeker.
The idea is that students will walk up to the board to answer questions, press buttons and watch the magic happen, as lights start blinking.
Jim wants this to become something that Lower School students will use as inspiration for a similar project — perhaps a light-up map, parts-of-a-sentence review board, or maybe an animal identification activity — anything that might incorporate a tinkering mindset to help students make connections. Eventually, students might then use their smaller individual projects to create a large scale project.
With intent to inspire students with a little bit of wonder. Jim explains, “I want them coming in to the Media Center talking about the interactive board, asking me how it was done, taking it apart to discover its inner workings, and then feeling excited at the thought that they themselves could make something like that. I want to encourage the innovator in all of them to look at things, and see worlds of new possibilities for how to reuse/remix/repurpose/
In this newly created role, Jim will teach students about open/closed circuits, electrical components, and circuit types. He says, “I want them to learn skills with various electrical tools like wire strippers and soldering irons. All of it will be done in a true exploratory fashion… ‘try it and see if it works – then share what you learned!'”