Thursday, February 6, 2014

Wanny's Words: Eighth Graders’ International Architectural Design and Engineering Project

By Wanny Hersey
Superintendent/Principal at Bullis Charter School

Last week I had the pleasure of serving on the judging panel of our eighth grade students' 3-D school designs presentations for the international “School of the Future Design Competition” sponsored by the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI)   These middle school students used the Design Thinking process and technologies at the FabLab@BCS, such as the laser cutter, to create environmentally responsive school models during their Architectural Design and Engineering intersession.

As you know, BCS is committed to educating the whole child using curricula that is project-based, integrated across academic areas but specifically in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math), all with a focus on developing 21st century skills. But what I thought was most interesting for community members to see was that the 8th grade students were challenged to envision an innovative use of the Blach site where the Bullis Center for Innovation is presently located and to create a model that not only takes into consideration the learning and physical environments but also addresses how their proposal connects learning to their community so that the there is a mutually beneficial partnership.

The students also presented their designs to the BCS Board of Directors on Monday.  Board members, as well as many members of our local community, had the opportunity to see the amazing projects first-hand and ask students questions about the process.  We also congratulated the winning group who will work with their teachers to prepare for the regional level of competition next month!

Take a look at some of the amazing 3-D models!