Curiosity Encourage(mint): How Students are Bringing Classroom Learning to Life

Curiosity Encourage(mint): How Students are Bringing Classroom Learning to Life

McKenzie Zobrist


In a classroom full of inquisitive and sharp students, Jonah Mikesell managed to find his own niche. A fascination for strategy and mechanization is what helped him find his place. Now the innovations are limitless.

Mikesell, a sophomore, has a passion for engineering. He has created chargers and speakers out of Altoids tins as well as other gadgets including a mini fridge, amplifier and boombox.

The technology of the inside of the charger that Mikesell created. (Photo by Jonah Mikesell)
The Altoid charger that Jonah Mikesell created. (Photo by Jonah Mikesell)

“In eighth grade I took this class called Genius Hour and it allowed me to make anything I wanted per quarter,” said Mikesell.

Genius Hour is an elective that is offered in the junior high which allows students to experiment and create objects of their choice.

Before eighth grade, he was not interested in engineering, nor did he have an idea of what it is. “I had no idea I had a passion for engineering until I experimented with a new thing,” said Mikesell.

Although he used to tinker with these devices for fun inside and outside of school, he’s limited production to exclusive sales. If you’re looking to buy one, his Altoid tin speakers or chargers sell for $12.

Other students are finding their passion in offered classes as well.

Photo of fashion styles Trubisky has created. (Photo by Ellie Trubisky)

Ellie Trubisky, a sophomore classmate of his, said, “I didn’t know what fashion design encompassed, but after taking the class last year, I know what I want to pursue as a career.”

Trubisky has taken initiative this year to start her own master class which was inspired by her experience in the fashion design elective.

Since both have chosen to investigate these interests, they have an idea of what they’d like to pursue as a career.  “I have thought about it a lot and I think engineering would be something I could enjoy as a career,” said Mikesell.

Mikesell and Trubisky are just two examples of how students are bringing class-taught skills to life.

So what’s Mikesell’s advice to students searching for a passion? “Experiment with different hobbies: take a new class like computer programming or join a new club,” he explained.