As part of a three day summer camp in July 2018, eight students representing Latin School of Chicago and Goudy Technology Academy gathered at the Uptown space to create a mosaic tile design that would represent the rich, diverse, and historic Uptown neighborhood. Steve Tow, Computer Science and Tech Coordinator at Goudy, and Bobby Oommen, Middle School Computer Science Teacher from Latin, planned and organized the camp.
Each student had to create approximately 8 tiles, each representing a different business/organization in Uptown. Students first had to research the organization. They visited the organization's website as well as other sites to find out what the organization did, how long they've been around, and any other interesting information. They compiled and summarized the information onto a spreadsheet (this can be linked from the QR code on the mosaic. They then had to create two sketches of what the business tile could possibly look like. In some cases, they simply designed the logo of the business. In other cases where the business had no logo, they had to design the tile from scratch, using the information about the business to know what images to choose to put on the tile. They then asked fellow campers to vote on either one of the two tile designs. This was to ensure that the tile choices were done collaboratively, and also in order to receive feedback. Once they received feedback from their classmates and received a stamp of approval from Mr. Tow or Mr. Oommen, they then began the design using the software assigned for that particular tile. Students had to learn how to use Google drawings, Tinkercad for 3D printing, and Silhouette Studio for vinyl cut designs. Once their designs were completed using the software, they received one more quality check from Mr. Oommen and Mr. Tow. When they were completed, they moved on to the next tile.
The Future of the Mosaic
Initially, the Mosaic was going to be mounted on some type of wood as a permanent installation. However, we wondered how the mosaic would be impacted if some of the businesses went out of business, or if there were other changes. As a result, we decided to put magnets on the back of the tiles and mount it on a whiteboard. This was done so that other schools and future students can still participate in this design by adding more tiles, and also so the mosaic could stay up to date. It is our hope that the Mosaic can travel around to the different locations of Uptown, and serve as a reminder of the diverse and historic community that we live in.
"I learned that I can kind of draw Bob the Builder. I also learned how easy it is to animate a couple slides using Marvel."
"I learned to better incorporate my ideas with others to make something great"
"I learned how to pitch and idea to very important people. I learned how to make an app prototype."
"I learned how to make a prototype of an app virtually, which was really cool! I didn't even know that I could design an app, and actually act upon it. My team was amazing and we really worked very well together."
"I learned that I can easily develop an idea with time even if I don't have any tools but paper and pencil in front of me.:
"I learned that I can get along well with other people I don't know"