A Middle Schooler’s Passion Ignited

Spotlighting our community is always fun and we love sharing our student, staff and family stories of their journeys here at ASH. Here, we bring you the story of Olaf, a middle schooler, whose passion for processing ignited at last year’s Summer Experience program. Mr. Lovgren, one of our middle school math teachers, offered the course that Olaf participated in and was delighted to hear how he had taken the experience from the summer program and explored this new passion in his own time.      

I worked with Olaf during the Summer Experience in a class called Introduction to becoming a Maker. We covered topics like learning about the Raspberry Pi computer, the Linux operating system, shell scripting, Python, Processing, and automating interaction with MineCraft. When we started working on interactive sketches using Processing, Olaf was instantly hooked on what was possible in a few lines of code. As I walked around the classroom I often found him working on his own sketches. 

He quickly developed his own exploratory path and when I bumped into him in the hallway this year he asked if I was going to offer my class again for the Summer Experience (due to a number of factors the Summer Experience program is not operating this year). Ms. Rhodes and I followed-up with two lunch-time meetings to explore and encourage the growth of his digital art. He had taught himself object-oriented programming in order to simplify his sketches and continued to develop his own visual aesthetic.”

This passion that Olaf developed and cultivated, led him to create an online sketchbook, as he continues to use his initiative, work through problems and find creative solutions. Mr. Lovgren shared his favorite Olaf sketches:

 We also checked in with Olaf about what initially drew him into coding and processing, and how this has grown into a real interest and passion for him. “I began coding for a very generic reason and that was to make a game. This slowed until I found the art side of javascript, p5js, which is a javascript library for creative coding. I started working on random projects that I thought looked cool. This was quickly followed by finding the Instagram hashtag and making an account for my sketches. Many things inspire me, but mostly others' posts and random ideas that come to mind. In the future, I'd like to make a lot more and explore ways that code can be visualized.”

We love to share these stories with our community of seeing a passion or new interest ignited in a student, cultivated and encouraged by our dedicated staff. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Olaf and his processing, and a big thank you to Mr. Lovgren for inspiring Olaf and sharing his story!




We build a better world as we become better human beings, hear and value every voice, keep every promise, and celebrate every achievement. 


We are determined to create a school where everyone is confident and able to take control of their own learning, and the world is our classroom.