Featured Wiki: MindDrive

Tom Strongman started the MindDrive wiki in January of 2010.

1. Briefly describe your group, your wiki, and what you use it to do:
Our Wiki has played a key role in telling our story, which has received worldwide attention. We began as a group of seven at-risk students and 11 adult mentors from DeLaSalle High School in Kansas City, and our goal was to convert an old Lola Indy car to electric power, to design a lightweight full-coverage body for it, and to measure how efficient we could make it. The class met for four hours every Saturday morning for eight months. Our Wiki enabled me to document the class and post weekly updates so that all mentors, students, and school officials could keep abreast of our work.

As the project developed, we attracted the attention of a couple of major corporate sponsors, and the Wiki played a key role by letting them follow our progress on a weekly basis.

Bridgestone invited us to bring the car to their proving grounds in Ft. Stockton, TX for testing in August. The efficiency of our electric powertrain equaled 300 miles-per-gallon at 42 mph and 443 MPGe at 25 mph. The car was a sensational success.

The news of our achievement spread quickly around the world, and we were featured on more than 300 websites, TV shows, and magazines. Once people saw our story, they would come to the Wiki to read a detailed version.

We formed MINDDRIVE as a non-profit organization to continue the class with more students in the future. We have been invited to bring our car to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May for Emerging Technology Day.

2. Besides the Edit button, which wiki feature is your favorite?
Besides the Edit button, I like being able to embed widgets because I publish videos and slideshows.

3. What is one way you’re using wikis and other web 2.0 tools in your projects?
I use the Wiki as a way to tell our story with pleasing graphics and photography.

4. Tell us about a particular moment that made you say, “Aha! THIS is why I use wikis!”
When we received inquiries from India, Germany and the Ukraine, I realized that the Wiki made that happen.

5. If you could ask it, what do you think your wiki would say about you?
Our Wiki would say that our diverse group has been about transformation and vision. We learned that every one of us has a unique gift of creativity and ingenuity, and that learning from each other is the basis for our success. The car became a beautiful metaphor for the group: not only does the skin have no color, but its transparency enables us to focus on what’s inside, and it’s what inside each of us that counts the most.

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  1. Heide
    Posted February 24, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Great project! I’m sure the participants felt a great sense of accomplishment.

  2. Victoria
    Posted March 5, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    WOW! 0.o i don’t think my class could ever do something that could be that sucseeful,your class is a rollmodel for the other classes to try to be more like that. :D

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