Website aids students in navigating the high school

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






by Chris Bell

Sophomore Alex Feinstein created an interactive website that members of the school community can use when they need help getting around the building. He decided to do the project when he realized, as a freshman, that it was tough to get around.

Sophomore Alex Feinstein created an interactive website that members of the school community can use when they need help getting around the building. He decided to do the project when he realized, as a freshman, that it was tough to get around.

Last year, like most other freshmen, sophomore Alex Feinstein struggled with finding the locations of his classrooms. Then, he had an idea: use his love of coding to try to solve the problem.

Feinstein created a website that serves as an interactive map of the high school. The website, hosted by Blogger, allows the user to search for rooms and provides a map displaying the best route to the room.

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 2.27.37 PM

A shot of Feinstein’s website with an arrow on The Sagamore’s room.

Feinstein said he started the project last year, drawing from preexisting print maps of the school. After putting the project on the back burner for a year, Feinstein said that he decided to remodel the map due to the request of a friend. He added many new features, such as the capability to find the nearest staircase.

“Originally it took me a week to build the first model, but I worked literally non-stop on it,” Feinstein said. “I did nothing but eat, sleep and code.”

At one point Feinstein hit a roadblock on how to have the site locate the nearest stairways, but solved it with what he had learned in math class.

“I actually came to the conclusion to use the pythagorean theorem,” Feinstein said. “It knows the location of every stairway on the floor so it takes that and uses the pythagorean theorem on every single one to find out which one is closest.”

Assistant Headmaster Hal Mason said that over the summer Feinstein contacted him with the idea and a finished model. Mason then distributed the links and the information to the advisers of this year’s freshmen.

“He did all the work,” Mason said. “I just said maybe it would be cool if we could have little bar codes that we could stick on the maps around the school so you could just walk up with an iPhone and flash it on there and it would show you right where you are in the building.”

According to Mason, the site is necessary because many upperclassmen and adults at the high school know their way around but cannot empathize for what it’s is like to be disoriented and confused by the halls of the high school.

“There’s a lot of people that come into the building that can’t do that and don’t know how to get from A to B and if you stood in the lobby during the day, people gravitate over to that map,” Mason said.

However, freshman Tim Weighart said that although he was able to appreciate how it may be helpful to others, the map has some disadvantages.

“I wanted to be able to find my classes on my own,” Weighart said. “A birds-eye view map doesn’t really help represent the school when you’re walking through. It just doesn’t seem real enough for me.”

According to sophomore Eric Nakamura, a member of the Maker’s Club with Feinstein, Feinstein’s skill at both coding and design is what ultimately makes his website so successful.

“He’s really good at coming up with ideas and I think once you really know the code well and how to use it, you know what to do with it,” Nakamura said. “I think a lot of people have really cool ideas and they want to make those ideas real, but I think it’s better to know how to code and know its limitations.”

Chris Bell can be contacted at [email protected]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email