Ross Spiral Curriculum


For Ross Institute
with Moebio Labs
in 2016

Project Overview
Ross School is a private K-12 school with a unique curriculum, located in the Town of East Hampton (Long Island, New York, United States)

The Ross Spiral Curriculum is a literary narrative of the evolution of human consciousness. It is taught chronologically through the grades as a dynamic system expanding in complexity.

The Spiral provides a cohesive architecture for analysis of the past as a dynamical system and enables students to more fully understand the present while envisioning the future.
My Contributions
Defined project structure and planning. Assessed and chose technology stack for the project. Designed and developed the interactive experience in tandem with Moebio. Modeled the curriculum in a database and created an ad-hoc CMS for the client to manage the contents. Imparted workshop on Creative Programming to Ross School's students.
Other key contributors
- Santiago Ortiz (Design, development)
- Marie Maziak (Project Direction)
- Novella Laspia (Content Direction)
Project Screenshot
Interactive Visualization
Vanilla Javascript, AngularJS, Moebio's JS Framework
The core of the project is a visual representation of the curriculum that the user can explore with intuitive interactions for searching, browsing, zooming and selecting items of interest. A 3D model of the spiral provides a holistic view of the model with free-style navigation, while a dedicated side panel provides access to contents and media as well as additional navigation links and menus. These two areas are interconnected so that both are constantly updated regardless of where the interaction is happening. Watch the video at the bottom of this page for a quick demo.
Project ScreenshotProject Screenshot
Content Management System (CMS) & Back-end
AngularJS, PHP, MySQL
Ross school had a very detailed knowledge about the curriculum structure but it was not captured in any digital format that could be used in this or other applications. So in order to get started we worked together in an MVP using simple spreadsheets in Google Docs. This allowed constant collaboration as we progressed in defining the objects and relations while being able to load the model and the contents in our web app prototype.

When this primitive CMS was mature enough, we used it as a blueprint to create a proper database and an API to provide access. This API receives content from a custom CMS we built, and serves it both to the CMS and the interactive visualization.
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From early sketches to fully-functional
The whole project evolved very organically, thinking ideas and discussing them with the client at each step in a truly interactive conversation. Here are some of the early sketches I drew to try to imagine how the application could look like and a video demo of the completed project.
Project Screenshot
What people said
The project was a success as it delivered all the goals set with the client within the allocated timespan.
After the first release we captured feedback from stakeholders and performed adjustments fine-tuning the user experience. Besides the main intended audience (students, parents, teachers and other Ross School staff members) the project caught the eye of many other people who published comments and articles in their social networks and popular websites.
Project Screenshot