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Student Perspective: Designing a Journey Through Time

by Sydney Brice and Hadley Carey, Class of 2024

Hey Mount Vernon Community!!  We wanted to tell you about something super cool that our Mount Vernon sophomores designed. If you didn’t know, there’s a unique, student-led, transformation design studio that inspires, creates, and implements high-impact work called Innovation Diploma in our Upper School.

For a month and a half leading up to Homecoming, the Sophomore Cohort busted their tails designing and building a Mount Vernon Mini-Golf course! You may be asking yourself, “Why would they spend designated learning time making something as silly as a mini-golf course?” Well, they noticed a design opportunity when planning for the 2021 Homecoming Football Game. They realized that some students and families aren’t super interested in the football game, but still want to attend. So why not create a family-friendly game that can be played during the event to help entertain the people who aren’t so interested in football?

That’s precisely what they did. The cohort did tons of research, figuring out how to organize, build and run such a big event. It took hours of sketching, designing, and building to decide how to create the optimal experience for the Mount Vernon community. They surveyed students from 2nd grade all the way to seniors to see what would make this experience the most memorable. The cohort even took an expedition to The Fringe Miniature Golf Course in Roswell to see how it was built and what it takes to run. What an incredible adventure!

After countless hours of research and planning, they finally decided to theme the course A Journey Through Time to celebrate Mount Vernon’s 50th anniversary and show the experience from Lower School to Upper School. Once the research and designing process was complete, they finally had to build the actual course. That isn’t as easy as it sounds: they had nine holes to complete in three weeks, which isn’t a lot of time to build detailed holes that are durable enough for hundreds of kids and families to play on. The goal was to have each hole represent a Mount Vernon icon like the Clocktower, the Frontier, Graduation, the big MV 50, the lower school courtyard, sports fields, and more! Each hole was thoroughly designed and built to best express Mount Vernon’s design and creation expertise. The course was finally complete after hours of cutting wood, painting clock towers, drilling holes, and planting trees!