Each year the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) organizes Architects in Classrooms Sessions with kindergarten students from Boston Public Schools (BPS). Collaborating with the BPS Early Childhood Department, BSA architect volunteers work with a teacher to deliver the BSA’s custom presentation. Studio G Designer, David Mazzocco, has participated since the program’s inception 4 years ago to enliven the BPS kindergarten curriculum’s “Construction” unit.
This year David and teacher Ellen Gallivan decided two 30-minute virtual sessions to be best. Splitting into two virtual classroom visits kept up student engagement and fought the dreaded “zoom fatigue” that sometimes plagues us all.
In the first session students learned about what architects do and how to become an architect. Interestingly, the kids’ perspective is that architects actually build the buildings and were surprised to learn from David that “architects design the buildings and contractors build them.” They were very curious about David’s specific projects. David shared images of Studio G’s Excel Academy Middle School as well as projects from previous firms.
During the second session students explored how buildings can be designed with shapes. Some of the children’s designs tended toward schools and playgrounds while others created the wide variety housing typologies seen in the city like apartments, condos, townhomes, and single-family residences. David then pulled it all together by showing the students how each type of building (hospital, library, school, house, etc.) work together to create a great neighborhood.
“The kids were fun, energetic, attentive and creative,” said David. “They came up with a lot of thoughtful designs and teaching them expands my own mind about what kids really need out of their built environment.”
Sounds like a win-win for all!
For more information about the program and how going virtual expanded participation in 2021, check out the BSA’s post https://www.architects.org/news/virtual-learning-expands-bsa-kindergarten-program?utm_source=BSA&utm_campaign=6c2db86d22-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2021_05_11_04_00&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c10ff3af4a-6c2db86d22-374129292.