The campaign on the online fundraising platform Kickstarter was launched earlier this week and is already a third of the way toward its goal.
The funds will be used to purchase additional workstations for a new music and media lab at Arlington Memorial. The media lab is intended to be a center for collaboration and interdisciplinary learning, where students can "engage in design thinking and create original multimedia work," according to a written release from the Arlington School District.
"Students have been developing original podcasts and recording their own music, and it's all been amazing to watch. However, we need more equipment to keep up with the students," said music and media Teacher Phelan Gallagher, who spearheaded the campaign.
"Currently they are sharing one workstation, and we are hoping through this campaign to have a total of 10 workstations," Phelan added. "With the money we raise, we will be able to buy enough computers, headphones, and software so everyone can use the lab."
According to the Kickstarter page dedicated to the project, pledges made between now and the end of the campaign will only go through if the project raises at least $5,000.
The campaign began May 13 and runs until June 14. Those who make a pledge of $500 or more will get their name on a plaque on one of the stations. One pledge at that amount had already been made by the end of the day Thursday; among 21 backers who had pledged $1,450.
If fully funded, the current band room at Arlington Memorial will have to be rearranged to make space for the new equipment.
"The workstations will be outfitted with programs enabling us to create original videos, music, podcasts, and blogs as well as to better network our learning through the use of social media and web-based design platforms," Gallagher said.
Each workstation costs an estimated $1,000 to set up. The computers will be iMacs and Macbook Pros.
In addition to music and media, the Industrial Arts Department will be able to share the space so those interested in design will have access as well.
Students will be able to engage in self-directed, project-based learning that reflects their goals and interests, including short and full-length albums, films, and documentaries; recording original songs; hosting their own radio shows; and creating original ringtones and videos for the web.
Eventually, the goal is to make the lab available as a community resource where students can help the public. Mini-workshops are expected to be held for teachers at the school, taught by Gallagher and technology class students.
Search for "Chromatic: Building a Media Lab for Art, Music & Adventure" on www.kickstarter.com to learn more or pledge funds.