The Architects in Schools program consisted of a 6-week architectural study. We chose to focus on geometry as an avenue to connect architecture and the curriculum in the 3rd and 4th grade classrooms. For both groups, this was an applied review: testing their knowledge of general shapes and applying it to things like how strong are shapes.

WEEK 1: What is Architecture? What is Structure?

This preliminary week is meant as an introduction. What better place to start thinking about architecture than to start thinking about what really makes buildings stand up. An incredible activity that was demonstrated at orientation really brings together what the Architects in Schools experience should be, and that’s “How it feels to be a Structure.” Brett (my co-architect/teacher), Deann (the third grade teacher), Beth (the fourth grade teacher), and myself decided to have this activity be our first.

The activity went really well. It’s a great opportunity to learn while being active. It’s amazing how the activity actually allows you to feel what a structure feels like. Every architect should do this activity as a reminder of what really makes things stand up.

After this active activity we moved into a desktop activity demonstrated the strength of repeating shapes, especially triangles. Who would have thought that a bunch of triangles could actually make up a dome? And yes, the students wore them on their heads.

 Part A

Activity 1: How it feels to be a Structure: “Be a…POST! Be a… BEAM! Be a…LINTEL! Be an… ARCADE! Be a…flying buttress!”

Part B

Activity 2: Toothpick Dome- Triangles are Strong.