Congrats to neil41_2000 for submitting the winning entry

Logo Design Contest for

The DaVinci Collaborative

by thenschen
  • $175.00PRIZE AWARDED

Company or website name

The DaVinci Collaborative

Describe your company and organization and target audience

Our collaborative education project will cultivate innovative partnerships among community, non-profit and business organizations in a mixed-use facility. A transformative high school will emerge from these acts of synergy. The school will empower students to design their educational and career pathways in a flexible, community-based environment. Learning will be relevant, authentic, infused with technology, and meaningful; it will stretch beyond our walls and include work, internships, and interdisciplinary projects.

At-risk youth in Baltimore need the opportunity to complete high school coursework in alternative, engaging ways; the DaVinci Collaborative (DVC) accomplishes this by providing a flexible schedule of applied learning and work opportunities year-round in a mixed-use building. The DaVinci Collaborative connects skills and learning to student interests; students deserve a learning environment that supports them to become the best version of themselves, regardless of college or career choices.


We named our project after the great polymath: inventor, artist, scientist, poet, engineer and designer, Leonardo da Vinci. The breadth and depth of his knowledge remind us that education the last ten years has been focused on shallow, fact-centered learning, while the world of technology and problem-solving has moved forward at break-neck speed. Students in the 21st Century need both to learn a variety of subjects AND how discrete disciplines interact to create innovation. Leonardo became a better scientist and engineer because of his ability to draw, and was able to improve the quality of his art by understanding anatomy. We will create a year-round, arts-infused school with project-based, authentic learning opportunities. We plan to co-locate our school in a mixed-use, urban space, where students will see work taking place and work there themselves during the day. It will be a flexible, hybrid, STEAM (STEM plus Arts) environment with a strong community wraparound. Students will learn all subjects by application, primarily through kinesthetic and artistic means, and will take charge of their learning and participate in the world around them. Our vision will be infused with student design.

Our Six Core Principles:

1. Design: Reflecting the inventor of the bicycle, helicopter, and flying machine, “Design” will be a theme in many aspects of the da Vinci Collaborative. For as many learning opportunities as possible, students will design something that reflects what they have learned (as opposed to “taking a test”). The building will be designed to reflect the way our students will work together. The physical space will be open, heavily tech-integrated, and designed for flexible groupings as well as individualized learning spaces. Students will design their pathway through high school.

2. Community: Da Vinci will serve as a community center, not just a school, providing services for families as well as students. The building will be open twelve hours or more a day and all year round. It will be available for community gatherings and families will have access to services such as dental and health services, food pantry, and after-care. Da Vinci will form partnerships with businesses, art-based nonprofits, local experts, and colleges. Members of the school community (parents and other family members) will be encouraged to share their skills and time in more meaningful ways than “career days.” Finally, students will become part of the community by using compensated employment as part of their learning plan, so that they won’t be forced to divide their attention between employment and academics.

3. Flexibility: Leonardo da Vinci was largely self-educated. Giving students the support they need through the assistance of an advisor, the da Vinci Collaborative will encourage students to design their own learning pathway for high school completion. School could take two years, three, or five; the design is up to the students and acceleration is encouraged. The Collaborative will utilize a mixture of online, self-paced core modules, collaborative student-led and designed projects, and work in the community (volunteer, internships, and paid employment).

4. Ubiquitous Learning: At the da Vinci Collaborative, students will connect to their personalized learning networks through their cutting-edge devices and learning management system. Given the flexible schedule at da Vinci Collaborative, students will need constant access to their core program so they can participate in group activities when they occur, and continue to learn in their work outside of school. Internships and externships will be a core component to high school completion.

5. Collaboration: The notion of “teacher” is replaced with the idea of a learning designer, an adult who works with a core group of students. Regardless of the individualized component, students will be part of a cohort that supports and learns from each other. The self-directed experience will be complemented by collaborative and team-based education when students work on small team projects, or attend a classroom discussion. As students develop expertise, they can contribute to projects, designs, and presentations based on their areas of focus. Learning designers will have a pool of mentors, community partners (business, government, and nonprofit), and outside resources such as health and fitness instructors or trade experts.

6. Democratic Processes: Students will be consulted in the design of our Project XQ submission, for example, in terms of building design, course offerings, and scheduling. That collaboration will not stop, however, after the school is up and running. Students may be consulted on hiring decisions, changes in format, or other aspects of “life at the school.” They will be empowered by becoming an essential part of school and community-based decision-making.



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