Logan LaPlante, age 13, has been skiing Alpine Meadows for practically his entire life. Anyone that spends time at Alpine has likely seen Logan and his brother Cody hucking off some cliff or hitting the latest park feature. But few people know that behind the ski team athlete that we see every day is a budding intellectual that recently gave a cool speech at the TEDx event at the University of Nevada, Reno.
LaPlante has worked his way up through the ranks of Alpine Meadows development teams and freeride teams. For the last three years, he has been a member of the ASC Alpine Freestyle Team. Logan is equally at home in the park, in the superpipe, and in freeride big mountain competitions. He claims that the only part of skiing that he does not like is the hiking, but we know he has done some major hiking in his lifetime. Logan is also an accomplished video editor, often documenting AFT teammates progression through the season.
Logan enjoys skiing Alpine Meadows because it is not “super big, nor is it super small.” He also enjoys the mix of big mountain terrain with great terrain parks.
In addition to spending a lot of time skiing, Logan spends a lot of time learning, in a less traditional format. It really would not be correct to call it “homeschooling”, as there is so much more to it than that. In his TEDx speech, Logan introduced the world to the concept of “hackschooling”, which simply means making the world your classroom. Besides the normal self-paced instruction in math or other academics, Logan is a part of a slew of other things, including performing as Al Capone the Silver State Young Chataqua, and serving as an intern at Big Truck Hats. Clearly, parents David and Jess LaPlante have worked hard to provide opportunities for their kids.
Here’s the video of his TEDx performance at UNR in January. His passion for life is quite apparent. The video has already been seen by more than 35,000 viewers. It’s well worth the 11 minutes:
In listening to Logan, it’s easy to catch the message that maybe some schools are missing the boat in education. If you have met either LaPlante boy, it’s easy to see that it is very possible to be well educated, while still being happy and pursuing your dreams. When I asked Logan his one message to schools and teachers, he replied:
Don’t stick to the traditional route. Base education on what kids want and need, which is to be happy.
Many adults can learn from the wisdom of thirteen year olds. Congrats to Logan, his family and all of his other supporters that have helped him to a path of success. We hope Logan follows through with his goal of continuing to “improv life.”
Added 12/27/13: Logan has started a Facebook page that updates his progress with the hack schooling movement.