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Understanding and Building a Tesla Coil: A Matthews Fund Grant

By Domenic (Dom) Mongillo and Aditya Mynampaty, VI Form

Understanding and Building a Tesla Coil: A Matthews Fund Grant

The Matthews Fund provides grants to students of any form who are good citizens and solid students.  Awards are based on merit and need as determined by a faculty committee. Grants are made for special needs such as tutoring assistance, special instruction, seminars, academic experiences of a national or international nature, and personal growth and advancement opportunities.  

Last year, we applied for and were fortunate to receive the Matthews Grant. Our hope was to use the resources given to us from the fund to further our understanding of electronics by building Tesla coils. We expanded upon this idea by using our Fifth Form Lion Term as an opportunity to build these coils while studying the complicated electronics inside of them with the help of resources from the school. We then continued to work on the coils throughout the summer and into this academic year. From this experience, we have learned an incredible amount about electronics and about the work and determination that goes into a complicated engineering feat.

In addition to funds for purchasing Tesla coil kits, spare parts, and equipment needed to construct the coils, our grant also enabled us to take a trip to the Museum of Science in Boston. The museum featured an exhibit called Lightning! that included a variety of machines that demonstrated electronic principles like the world’s largest Van de Graaff Generator, plasma balls, and, of course, several very large Tesla coils. We visited this exhibit and studied the coils, and we were able to go onstage after the presentation to talk with one of the people who worked to build the coils used in the demonstrations.


Vlogging the “LT Foodies” Experience

By Julian Yang, VI Form

Vlogging the “LT Foodies” Experience

My V Form Lion Term group explored the Restaurant and Food Service Industry around New England. We focused on all aspects of the industry, such as management, cooking, and sustainability. Throughout the course of two and a half weeks, we had the amazing opportunity to talk with numerous professionals in the market, including a cooking instructor at the Boston Public Market and managers at Rail Trail Flat Breads in Hudson, MA. While facing some challenges along the way, our group was able to create a final product that allowed our audience to experience what we learned. While the vlogs document the experience I had, the biggest social media presence was our cohort Instagram (@ltfoodies). Our Lion Term experience was one that combined teamwork, perseverance, and fun, allowing us to explore a different method of learning. 

Previously, I had not had the chance to make vlogs and films during my V Form year. Because of this, I wanted to use Lion Term as a chance to push myself and create a daily vlog for my LT experience. I also hoped to use vlogging as a creative way to document our group’s daily experiences in addition to simply taking photos and writing blog posts. This playlist, or series of vlogs, was inspired heavily by YouTuber Casey Neistat.

To view Julian’s full Youtube vlog channel, click here.


Leadership from All Directions – The Collaborative Effort of Lion Term

By Liz McCulloch, Director of Lion Term and French Faculty


Leadership from All Directions – The Collaborative Effort of Lion Term

Editors’ Note: This piece originally appeared in the gcLi’s Leadership blog on 2 April. You can further seek the Gardner Carney Leadership Institute on Facebook by clicking here.

Last Spring, our entire community experienced the first ever St. Mark’s Lion Term, a two-week experiential education program that ends the school year. During Lion Term, each grade has its own unique focus and all 10th grade students work with local organizations to promote community engagement. We adopted a modified version of the African Leadership Academy’s BUILD model, a form of design-thinking adapted for social entrepreneurship. The ideas were iterated and tested first, and students came away with the confidence that working together, they can play a role in their communities.

One of my favorite stories from last year’s Lion Term involves a group of 10th grade students who worked at Daniel’s Table, an organization committed to ending hunger in Framingham, MA and beyond. After volunteering to serve meals and talking to the founders and clients at Daniel’s Table, our group recognized that it would be helpful to list the ingredients in multiple languages for those who do not speak English or who are not familiar with the local produce. The group decided to make laminated cards with ingredients in English, Spanish, and Portuguese on one side and recipe ideas on the back. In working to understand the needs that the organization was meeting, our students were able to offer a solution that helped the organization to improve its service. (more…)