Tectorian of the Week: Jake West

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Our Tectorian of the Week for April 17 is Jake West, a teacher (among many other cool things) at the Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry (PSII).

As an educator at PSII, a local school devoted to helping young people “know the world in deep, connected and authentic ways,” Jake West is fostering the next generation of disruptors.

“Jake and his team approached us with a small project focusing on repairing a device to its old working order,” says VIATeC’s Dan Gunn. “Once we got a sense of the team’s enthusiasm we saw the opportunity to level up and do something far more unique that will capture the interest and imagination of Victoria’s tech community.”

In collaboration with VIATeC and Victoria’s Limbic Media, Jake and his students at PSII are working on a project for VIATeC that when finished, will tour to hundreds of conferences and events.

PSII: Taking Ideas to the Next Level

“The project is taking an old stationary binocular stand the had originally been used by Tourism Victoria to look out into the Inner Harbour, then had been gutted from the inside to install a ViewMaster,” says Adam Foeller. “The PSII team is now retrofitting the binocular stand to house an arduino board, a power source, and an LCD screen which will show videos that have to do with the Technology Community in Victoria.”

Adam Foeller is VIATeC’s facilities manager. Adam is passionate about things that function properly, and was, like Dan, impressed by Jake and his PSII team.

“Jake brought a few of the kids by, I explained to them our problem, and they took our idea to a higher level and dove into the project head first,” says Adam. “Jake’s students researched and sourced the necessary equipment, and got down to work.”

Currently, Adam says, the PSII students are in the process of running into roadblocks, attempting new iterations, and teaching themselves how to solve problems.

“This project is showing Jake’s students what real-world projects and problem-solving looks like,” says Adam. “Also, by working with Limbic Media, they are being exposed to an incredibly talented and creative group of tech professionals who are showing them that you can make a living by ‘playing’ at what you love.”

Jake West: Facilitating the Best Education at the Right Time

What is Jake West’s role in all of this?

“I facilitate learning experiences for our students,” says Jake. “At PSII, we think in terms of competencies rather than subjects, and this approach mirrors the tech industry. Technology companies don’t always care what courses someone has taken in university, but care more about skills to get the project done.”

In the tech sector, Jake says, credentials are not important. Students can lead and push limits right away.

“While they work on this project with VIATeC and Limbic, the students feel as though they are working for their own technology startup… which they truly are,” says Jake.  “Working on a project like this in collaboration with organizations like VIATeC and Limbic is the best education at the right time.”

Stay tuned for project updates from VIATeC, Limbic, and Jake’s team at PSII.

Jake and PSII are looking for bright, inspired students to study with them starting in September. Contact us for more information about this innovative school.


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