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Letter from our Head of School
Remember your imagination?
You were a kid and anything was possible. The world was this big place and it didn't matter. You were brave, stubborn, and optimistic.
You usually needed your imagination to make things happen. You were building treehouses and computers, designing outfits and making home movies. You would start one thing, and then another, and you had no fear. You wanted your experiments to work, but they usually didn't. You quit, took a few days off, and returned, with a better idea. You were unstoppable.
Since learning to use stone tools, humans have demonstrated a remarkable ability to try, fail, and to try again, until they improve. We wouldn't have survived as a species otherwise. But what happens to our imaginations over time? We are always confronted with this question. Are we simply gifted a more willing imagination as children that harmlessly fades away with old age? I hope not. I think most of us would agree we are happiest when we are creative.
I do believe we become more sensible as we age. We learn to be managers and stewards of the innovations we introduce. We are more responsible with our production processes and set up accountability frameworks to maintain them. This ensures the products we introduce are here, tomorrow. We design trust and safety measures in architecture and transportation, medicine and new media, and, to the edification of society, have emerged as a robust and roaring republic against the fatal history of our ancestors.
However, I believe we are witnessing the ways in which our focus on the present can work against us. We have become conservative not only in our processes, but in our productions. The outcome is reflected in some macroeconomic data, but also in our intolerance for big ideas as a culture. We are much more skeptical of innovation today than we are of reform, not because we are traditionalists, but because it requires less of us to work on things that already exist. We won't go to the moon because it is hard, as we once did.
This partly explains our lagging behind in STEM education at the primary school level. But it also says a lot about our timid reaction to scientific and technological progress. In academia, as with culture, we have acquired the taste to suppress aberrant ideas that shift or question our priors, and ask 'what if this fails?' far more than 'what if this succeeds?'
We insist on credentials that often signal compliance more than competence. We believe a bird in the hand is worth two in a bush. We've been taught to save money, and not to invest, because we might lose everything. We viciously punish failure, making try, fail, and try again, untenable. There seems to be no end to how far we will go to infuriate our imaginations. We seem only interested in protecting what we already have.
We need a safe space to discuss the future, again. We need to remind children that we, too, had big ideas once, and that these ideas still bubble in the recesses of our imaginations. We need to tell the story of how we got to where we are and more urgently where we are going.
We need to remind ourselves that we exist. There are millions of us across the world looking for one another amidst a vast sea of consistency. We are finding each other on the internet, but I believe we should be finding each other in the world. There is still more to experience, above and below sea level, if only we had the courage to act on what we believe.
How might such a world look if we did?
We want to find out, and we are discovering a place to explore our assumptions. We believe science, technology, and amazing stories, are the best methods to suffuse our potential. We will do our best to inspire you to imagine, again, and to further provide you and your children with the resources to build your imaginations. We are not simply interested in entertainment. We want to solve real world problems.
So we are creating a special place to encourage that spirit and the people around the world who are, at this very moment, building the future. We call it Numinous Park, a 21st century learning academy and student accelerator, where students explore their interests and build projects based on what interests them. Our mentors guide students to complete projects in the efforts of science, technology, engineering, aesthetics, and mathematics. Our students may even contribute to the progress of these fields working indirectly with our Numinous Park Founders, former-student entrepreneurs who live at the Park for three months and who are building startups. At Numinous Park, our students don't graduate, they start companies.
We are also proud to officially announce our first series, Unusual Children. The pilot episode is available now for free exclusively on Substack. Unusual Children will be the first of several original series to be published as newsletters, before being adapted by Numinous Media, a streaming service and subsidiary of Numinous Park.
Finally, we will update you every so often with details concerning the progress of the Park, and how we are working with city governments, and local entrepreneurs, to create the best possible experiences for our members (students, mentors, and elders). Numinous Park 1 will be founded in beautiful Los Angeles, California. We are looking forward to building a Park for every city that wants one.
Numinous for us is about exploring the idea that our emotions are clues to a deeper part of ourselves. We believe the sensations humans perceive when encountering exquisite music, sudden laughter, or a new hope, is humanity's eternal state. However, we experience these sensations as episodic events, which is incorrect. We believe there is an education to our feelings, and to experience that education is to rediscover our underlying reality.
Numinous Park is where these feelings are nourished. We want our students to experience something true. We want to showcase their inventions at our Park for the world to enjoy. We want a space to encourage you and to remind you that you have agency in this world. We want to celebrate human stories and performing arts alongside biotechnology and longevity research. We want the future we were promised.
Everyone is welcome. You just have to remember your imagination.
David Oliver Doswell
CEO and Head of School, Numinous Park
Helena, Maximus, and Cassandra St. John, are just fine.
But their parents need their help.
Numinous Park is a project-based learning academy. Our students build real-life applications that address real-world problems. Numinous Park is student-centered, meaning we adhere to a democratic education process for students ages 5-25. The mission of Numinous Park is to create a safe space for students to become creative and critical thinkers, by developing their rhetorical skills and helping them build complex projects they can present to the world.
Numinous Park has a science, technology, engineering, aesthetics, and mathematics focus. These specific educational verticals at our Park are called programs. Projects within a given program may include building robots and programming computers, to sculpting objects and learning ballet, to designing algorithms and performing biological experiments.
Numinous Park compliments these programs by encouraging soft-skills in children, such as learning to work in a group. This includes defending your opinion, persuading others to work with you, disseminating knowledge, delayed gratification, and public speaking, as students are required to present their finished projects to the group, and often to the entire academy.
How a given student arrives at a particular project is their business. How a student decides to go about the project once they've decided what to build, is also their business. The rules embedded in the project e.g. making a soufflé, designing a tiny house, editing digital media, coding a new game, we believe, are intrinsic to the project the student is trying to complete.
Students might discover new rules or methods during this process. However, in most cases, students will have some idea of what they want to accomplish based on some successful example of what they've already seen, e.g. a really well done soufflé, and will almost always be required to learn the rules before they learn to break them.
For this, and other empirical reasons, all projects at Numinous Park must be presentable and useful before being considered completed. The project is presentable when fellow students and mentors can see the project, interact with the project, and find it aesthetically pleasing. The project is considered useful when it does what it was designed to do and is of some benefit to at least one person. The student(s) involved in completing the project may add one completed project to their Level when a mentor agrees the project is presentable and useful. Students have as much time as they need to complete a project.
Numinous Park believes in a constructivist approach to learning. Students play an active role in what they learn and even how they learn. The job of our mentors is only to guide students in their educational and emotional journeys, as they complete their projects. We believe our job is to create a sophisticated environment for students to learn how to build things and to ask questions, to be questioned, and to take a risk for their opinions.
Numinous Park believes in what we call self-evaluation loops, to the process of completing projects. These loops are similar to daily stand-ups at technology startups, where students present an overview of what they worked on the day before, what they're working on today, and any blockers that might prevent them from completing their project(s). A student or mentor might ask 'what's your loop?' to better understand the progress of a given project.
Numinous Park believes students of all ages, and levels, should work together, congregate, and share ideas, what is sometimes called "age-mixing." We believe students should learn what to do, and what not to do, from everyone, including and especially adults. This is also important to us academically. Our students matriculate through Levels and become mentors as a method for both measuring academic progress and for learning responsibility.
Numinous Park believes in member equality. Whether or not a student is sponsored or non-sponsored, any member may attend any meeting conducted by, or on behalf of, Numinous Park, including meetings pertaining to Park programs, finances, development, hirings, and firings, of any mentor, elder, or employee.
Numinous Park believes in what is sometimes called cooperative dispute resolution. Conflict between students or mentors is treated as a creative opportunity, so that opposing parties may arrive at a win-win solution. Every member has the opportunity to oppose or endorse any topic pertaining to the project at hand, or interests concerning the Park itself. All final disputes are resolved by majority vote.
Numinous Park believes where an even number of opposers during a project conflict exists, any outside member may be selected to resolve the dispute. The selected member must be chosen at random. It is necessary to note that, for this reason, every member is encouraged to attend meetings that pertain to their interests, onsite or virtually. Members who attend meetings have a voice, and may set agendas, develop and name programs, and establish the creative culture at the Park. Official academy meetings are recorded and considered documentation for future reference. Members are expected to keep up with the weekly Park schedule independently.
Numinous Park believes in a "Leave No Trace" creative culture. The seven principles as they are often applied to outdoor enthusiasts are
1. plan ahead and prepare
2. travel and camp on durable surfaces
3. dispose of waste properly
4. leave what you find
5. minimize campfire impacts
6. respect wildlife
7. be considerate of other visitors
We believe this is an ethical framework for interacting with the environment and with others. We have adapted this framework for our playgrounds at the Park. These are
1. plan ahead and prepare
2. build in safe spaces
3. dispose of waste properly
4. leave what you find
5. minimize Park impacts
6. respect other spaces
7. be considerate of other students
Leave What You Find has one necessary addendum. Students should only leave with things they arrived with, not things the Park offers at our playgrounds. Students should not remove any Park resource without the express permission of a mentor. Playgrounds should always be kept clean for future use, unless a project requires a space to be left messy for students returning at a later date.
Numinous Park publishes a General Order for our students, what we call Character, Manner, and Deeds. This Order is how we understand excellence, justice, and society, at Numinous Park. The General Order is taught to and followed by every member and corporate partner. Violation of The General Order is grounds for expulsion and disapprobation on behalf of the Park, and one's fellow members.
Speak your mind, take responsibility, leave no trace
Show up early, respect members, protect humanity
Work together, give your best, defend the innocent
Numinous Park students have no formal curriculum. Students decide what to work on given the available productive resources at the Park and are further encouraged to build a project based on their interests. When a student or students decides on a project, they submit their project to be enrolled into a program, where the project and the student(s) will be assigned a mentor.
A program may belong to one of five educational verticals at Numinous Park. These verticals are science, technology, engineering, aesthetics, and mathematics. A program, for example science, has sub-programs (colloquially called "programs,") such as biology, and associating projects, like learning how plants consume energy and reproduce, by constructing a garden. Programs contain various projects that are initiated by students and approved by mentors. Once a project is considered completed, it is added to the student's portfolio.
Numinous Park also endorses prizes for particular projects suggested by mentors and elders to incentivize creative work in areas of interest to the Park. These include but are not limited to physics research, artificial intelligence, material sciences, cryptography, gene therapy, or generating new knowledge by way of introducing novel theories of science.
Mentors function as guides for the students during the lifecycle of a project. Mentors ensure projects are completed by students, though a student may choose to opt-out of a project at any time. There are no marks against them. However, students who consistently choose to quit projects will find it difficult to secure mentors and fellow collaborators in the future. This is essential for matriculating to the next Level.
A Level indicates a student's progress as they matriculate through a program. Students may hold one or more levels in a diversity of programs. For instance, a student may be a Level 3 investor, but a Level 2 illustrator, a Level 1 gamer, but a mentor dancer. In this instance, as a dancer with 10 completed projects, the student has attained what we call 'mastery of the basics' and may be recommended by fellow mentors to manage a project, or even develop a program.
Levels are about giving participating students of the academy pride and encouragement to see a project through to the end. It is also about education. Research has shown one of the most effective ways to learn something is to teach it. Sometimes called "Peer Learning," or "Social Learning," this method teaches students responsibility, accountability, and humility, as students do not graduate from programs so much as move on to others. We believe this will help them later in life as they confront real-world challenges. Levels may be confirmed in the online student directory.
Level 3 is a novice level in a program. They are beginners creating their first project and are guided by mentors, and fellow students at higher levels.
Level 2 is an intermediate level in a program. They have completed at least two projects and can share what they've learned with novices. They are also guided by mentors and fellow students at higher levels.
Level 1 is an advanced level in a program. They have completed at least five projects and can share what they've learned with novices and intermediates. They are also guided by mentors and expected to begin taking more responsibility on selected projects.
Mentor is a master level in a program. They have completed ten or more projects and are responsible for running programs, seeing projects through to completion, and working with elders to develop and organize future programs.
Elders are non-participating members of the academy. Elders are usually not students, but executives and managers who oversee programs, corporate partnerships, student services, and Numinous Park Founders. As members, elders have equal citizenship and voting rights as students and mentors, and possess no special authority.
Students are encouraged to become mentors to be considered for Numinous Park Founders (for students over 16), or for full-time employment at Numinous Park. Founders between the ages of 16-18 must have a parent form the business on their behalf and act as an authorized signer. Liabilities apply. Parents of founders should consult with their attorneys and certified public accountants (CPAs). Referrals from mentors are more likely to be awarded to students who become mentors in at least one program. See Programs and Fellowship.
Numinous Park is an independent coeducational day-learning academy. There is no formal curriculum for students. We make particular resources available and encourage students to explore the disparate tools, and make something with them. This is by design. We know to complete a project, a student must have more than the requisite tools at their disposal: they require knowledge. This is where our Park Library and mentors comes into play. Our Library is a treasure trove of resources, including biographies, novels, and O'Reilley Media. Mentors guide students to project completion with an emphasis on literacy, design, and explanatory power, to produce competent and scientifically-trained adults.
Numinous Park admits student-candidates of any race, color, national, religious, and ethnic origin, to all the rights, privileges, programs, and fellowships, generally accorded or made available to students at the academy. Numinous Park does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national and ethnic origin, either in administration of its educational or admissions policies, fellowship and sponsorship programs, or any other school-administered programs, now and in perpetuity.
A Student Portfolio is an online profile and record of a student at Numinous Park. Portfolios contain completed projects, pins, endorsements, awards, presentations, and other pertinent information. Student Portfolios are "living documents" that may be updated, effectively, for as long as the student is active. We believe portfolios become more relevant to the future of credentials, whether students aspire to pursue specialized education, work for a company, or start a business of their own.
Notably, we believe if you can do the work, understand the lifecycle of a project, and have the endorsement of your peers, and instructors, you're qualified. This can be reflected in a coherent collection of recorded presentations, published research, and completed projects, much easier than having attained a traditional university degree, as there are ways students can graduate in the conventional model without having done the necessary work.
Below is an example of a Student Portfolio. The student's name is Caleb. The link to Caleb's portfolio may be found on Numinous Park's website, or mobile app, and may be shared with external parties, such as parents, employers, or a university. Video presentations have been omitted for the purposes of demonstration.
Science - Hydroponic Garden ✔
Technology - The Great Wizard (Roblox) ✔
Engineering - 3D Printed Cookies ✔
Aesthetics - Gallium Art Painting ✔
Mathematics - Treasure Hunt Graph ✔
Level 1 🥇
Completed 5 projects
Level 2 🥈
Completed 2 projects
Tuition works a little differently at Numinous Park. Qualifying students are sponsored by our corporate partners and do not pay tuition. Below is the cost of tuition per student for public record. Numinous Park admits 500 students per Park and does not support federally-funded loans, private loans, or financial aid programs, of any design.
Numinous Park does not accept public or private donations.
Tuition Fee: $25,000/year ($2083/month). Applies to all children.
National Average in the U.S. for private K-12 education
Tuition Fee: $10,066 for elementary school. $14,978 high school.
Above Average in the U.S. for private K-12 education
Tuition Fee: $17,619 for elementary school. $35,356 high school.
Source. Private School Review
Student-candidates interested in enrolling at Numinous Park must first fill out and submit an application. We are interested in two things: why the student wishes to attend our academy, and what they enjoy working on for fun. We also like to hear their (and their parent's) voices in the application. We want to know if they understand our philosophy and pedagogy.
Students are supported by Numinous Park's corporate partners. Our partners are innovative companies in the world of technology, media, finance, and business, whom we believe are having a positive impact on society. Selected partners (which are finally agreed upon by our members), who meet our criteria, are given space to showcase their product(s) or service(s) at our Expo, effectively "renting a space" for three months. Those funds are used to sponsor our extraordinary students whom, much like our partners, take a risk for their opinions.
Corporate Expo Program
Numinous Park is very happy to announce our Corporate Expo Program (CEP). Our quarterly Program will take place at The Expo on the grounds at Numinous Park. The purpose of this effort is to showcase scientific and technical innovation in American industry, and beyond. Selected corporate partners will be awarded a three-month showcase at our modern Expo, a commercial feature, and a public endorsement, following approval from Park members and our Head of School.
Potential partners must submit basic details below to apply. We determine which companies will be showcased based on societal impact and general alignment with the projects of our students. Once selected, a partner may purchase a space for the next exhibition. Numinous Park allocates funds from the CEP to our students. Partners are publicly credited on our website, unless otherwise specified. Each exhibition concludes the week following Discover Weekend.
Numinous Park Discover Weekend, or "Discover Weekend," is a three-day public exhibit on the grounds at Numinous Park. The exhibition showcases the quarterly achievements of our students, our Numinous Park Founders, and the latest inventions of our corporate partners. Discover Weekend celebrates the new achievements of our students alongside the pioneers of modern industry. We believe entrepreneurship and stories are the engine and power of progress. This is a chance to see what our students have been building, what our Founders are bringing to market, and what our corporate partners have already brought to market. It's also a party. You will meet fellow parents and guardians, Numinous Park mentors and elders, investors, and enjoy some of the best food in the world.
The exhibition begins the first Friday of every month and ends the following Sunday of the new quarter e.g. January, April, July, October. For the year of 2022, Discover Weekend is tentatively scheduled to begin in the third quarter (Q3), which for us will be July 8th (we are skipping July 1st, as that is a holiday weekend). Students, Founders, and corporate partners, will be hosted by a yet-to-be opened Numinous Park, which is also tentatively scheduled for sessions (classes) in the Fall of 2022. Our Head of School will pin and award our inaugural Numinous Park Preeminence Prize, and cash award, to the best invention of the Weekend.
Send resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Aedificare in Posterum
Executive Director at Numinous Park
Executive Assistant to the CEO
General Counsel (CLO)
Global Head of Partnerships
Global Head of Special Projects
Global Head of Corporate Sales
Children's Repertory Director
Children's Repertory Assistant Director
Vice President, Numinous Park Founders
Vice President of Finance (CFO)
Vice President of Education
Vice President of Recruiting
Vice President of Human Resources
Registered Nurse (RN)
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
Mental Health Advocate
Design Documentation QA/QC
VDC/IPD Process Maximization
Design Risk Manager
Programming and Concept Designer
Commercial Architectural Designer
Conceptual Site Planner
Construction Site Representative
Senior Product Designer
Senior Product Manager
Vice President of Recruiting
Series Creators / Showrunners / Writers
Virtual Reality Engineer (2)
Solidity Engineer (2)
Senior iOS Engineer (Members)
iOS Engineer (Members)
Senior iOS Engineer (Pedagogy)
iOS Engineer (Pedagogy)
Senior Android Engineer (Members)
Android Engineer (Members)
Senior Android Engineer (Pedagogy)
Android Engineer (Pedagogy)
Senior Frontend Engineer (Members, Pedagogy)
Frontend Engineer (Members, Pedagogy)
Senior Backend Engineer (Members, Pedagogy)
Backend Engineer (Members, Pedagogy)
Rights and Access
Members of Numinous Park have access to every program and perk, including the right to vote on Park issues such as program development, transportation (bus programs, field trips), and how teaching software and Park resources are used and/or allocated. Exceptions to this rule include security software, hardware, and intel. It is relevant to mention that a student's membership does not extend to their parent or guardian. Members alone have voting rights concerning the progress and allocation of resources at the Park, no matter the age of the student (5-25), following a three-month probationary period, post-enrollment. Parents who wish to have voting rights must become students and by extension become members.
Numinous Park Founders (NPF) is our three-month on-site accelerator program located on the grounds at Numinous Park. NPF is designed to help students translate the creative and critical thinking skills they acquire at Numinous Park into building exciting new companies. We believe we are living in the age of innovation, not of reform, and that creative thinking is required in industry, and government, to build new things, and exceed the progress we have already achieved. Our inaugural program will take place in the Fall of 2022 at Numinous Park 1 in Los Angeles, California. We encourage prospective founders, and non-student founders, working in technology, science, media, fashion, and architecture, to apply.
Selected Founders will be granted Lifetime Memberships, full access to the Park during their three-month stays, and awarded $500,000 USD for 10% of their companies.
Selected Founders building products and/or services specifically for Numinous Park will be granted Lifetime Memberships, full access to the Park during their three-month stays, and awarded $600,000 USD for 7% of their companies.
Acceptance letters will be awarded by email only in late Spring of 2022. To be considered for Numinous Park Founders, sign up at email@example.com.
Your application is simple. Create a PDF document and send it. We'll need:
name(s), age(s), and location(s) of founder(s). U.S. only at the momentbrief background and what led you and your team to start this companyvideo of a working prototype / website / app / robotwillingness to relocate (at least one founder must be on location)noteworthy details (we don't care what kind. Details should be brief)
Students are encouraged to become mentors to be considered for Numinous Park Founders (for students over 16), or for full-time employment at Numinous Park. Founders between the ages of 16-18 must have a parent form the business on their behalf and act as an authorized signer. Liabilities apply. Parents of founders should consult with their attorneys and certified public accountants (CPAs). Referrals from mentors are more likely to be awarded to students who become mentors in at least one program.