Students from Western Elementary School are headed to the state Student Technology Leadership Program (STLP) conference to present an exceptional project to make people feel appreciated. The five-student team designed a two-way interactive mirror using recycled computer components and a whole lot of ingenuity. They programmed it with warm greetings and compliments for those who view it.
The technology that makes this possible is called Raspberry Pi. “It is a low cost, credit card sized computer that plugs into a monitor,” explained third grade student Emerson Reed.
“The MagicMirror2 coding software lets us enter compliments and other things like the time, date, weather, and logos,” added teammate Benjamin Wahnsiedler, a fifth grader and STLP veteran at Western.
The students chose a variety of well wishes and compliments to enter into the motion-activated system.
“I hope everyone enjoys it. Not just kids but adults too,” commented third grade student Molly Parker. “We want everyone to feel loved when they pass it because we learned that positive affirmations increase self-confidence and self-esteem.”
Sofia Wahnsiedler has a inspirational quote of all those programmed into the mirror. “What you do today can change the future.”
Changing the future is exactly what these talented young leaders have on their agenda. They presented their project to Superintendent Dr. Kevin Hub this week asking for permission to install one of the interactive mirrors at Central Office to help collect data in preparation for the upcoming state competition.
“Absolutely!” Hub responded. “I am all for it. In a lesson with district leaders this week we spoke about the importance of making people feel appreciated for their work.”
Students are putting the final touches on their prototype before installing mirrors at Western and Central Office. They received a 98% rating at the regional level to advance to state.
“I was really nervous at regionals but I just knew we could do it,” stated Mallory Lamb.
The students are working with an engineering club from Elkhorn Crossing School. They are thankful for the support of business partners like Toyota and Commonwealth Tool. Though most of the parts are recycled, they have also worked to raise funds to purchase additional components.
They have big plans beyond the state competition and hope to make mirrors available to other schools and to program the mirror to use as part of an interactive sensory walk at their school.
Western STLP students present their prototype to Superintendent Dr. Kevin Hub and Assistant Superintendent Billy Parker.