What makes your heart sing? Mount Vernon is committed to the principle that curiosity and passion drive learning. The (i)Project is a unique opportunity for Upper School learners to cultivate their curiosities, pursue their passions and interests, and take creative risks. The goals for the (i)Project are four-fold:
• Develop Mount Vernon Mindsets through authentic learning experiences
• Cultivate curiosity, follow passions and interests, and fail up in learning
• Dissolve barriers between “school” and “real life”
• Empower learners to pursue inquiry, innovation, and impact while having fun
As the (i)Project is learner-driven, the experience offers multiple points of entry for learners with varying learning styles and academic interests. The (i)Project challenges learners to adopt a growth mindset, make meaningful connections across disciplines, and manage time and resources effectively. Every learner works alongside a faculty mentor, who serves as a source of ideas, encouragement, and project management guidance. Learners are also encouraged to seek consistent feedback from external mentors throughout the year, introducing an element of authentic accountability and feedback.
A critical piece of the (i)Project experience is to develop exceptional oral and written communication skills. Learners routinely document and reflect on key moments of their learning by curating their ePortfolio, an online platform that enables learners to showcase their best work and create a profile that reflects their learning process. Throughout the experience of the (i)Project, learners write for a variety of purposes, including but not limited to a pitch for project approval, a project planning brief, a written piece of communication to an external expert, and peer feedback. Our focus on communication skills throughout the (i)Project experience empowers learners to effectively share their story with peers, teachers, external experts, college representatives, and potential employers.
Lastly, all of our learners demonstrate their learning publicly by presenting at the annual Mount Vernon (i)Festival. This is an exciting moment to celebrate the journey that happened over the course of the year, and is open to the entire community. Everyone has a story to tell, and the (i)Project is a unique opportunity to discover, create, and celebrate that narrative.