The Community Building Project, an architecture class that was offered to the South Orange-Maplewood elementary students last autumn, had a public showing of its students' work on Feb. 5 at The Baird.
"The response to the class was overwhelming and the results were a huge success! The students made an incredible effort and produced great work," said Devyani Guha, an urban planner and district mom, who led Seth Boyden School's effort.
Students in grades 3-5 who participated in the after-school enrichment class were introduced to urban planning, scale, and building types. Each school was given a portion of a map — somewhere within Maplewood and South Orange — to develop into their own "town." Students at each school collaborated to plan zones for their towns. Then, each student designed and constructed his or her own building from reused chipboard boxes.
Jung Lee Masters was the architect who oversaw the Clinton School project: "We had 58 students in grades 3-5 from five elementary schools in the district participate. The other architect/designer parents and I were very excited to show their work, together for the first time!"
Taught by parent architects and designers, the program was a collaborative effort and was conceived to unify the students within the district's elementary schools.
The parent architects and designers were: