Learning about architecture and community design helps students to better understand the built environment around them.
Students learn about the basics of architecture and urban design to help them better understand how communities are designed and built. They explore the role of an architect through workshops with local professionals that make connections to math and science. Walking tours of local neighborhoods and visit the Carnegie Museum of Art help students to deepen their understanding different techniques and styles while identifying the different types of buildings in a community.
A final project challenges the students to select a building that is important in an community, then work together to construct a miniature version using recycled materials. The classroom teachers then help the students to establish a streetscape with the buildings while making difficult decisions about where and why buildings are placed. Interesting conversations about accessibility, safety, and health arise through the process.
For example, one year the students forgot to build homes or apartments which led to a discussion about homelessness and resulted in a meaningful service learning project.