As participants in the Architects in the Schools Program (AIS) two Bureau of Development Services (BDS), Land Use Services (LUS) City Planners, Kate Green and Susan van Staveren, recently volunteered 1-2 hours per week for 6 weeks at Portland Public School, Markham Elementary. The AIS program sends architects, landscape architects, planners, engineers and other development professionals into local schools to share their knowledge with students at all grade levels.
Kate worked with third grade students to link their study of Portland history with urban design. Each student designed and drafted a scaled full-block park that included a decorative or interactive fountain, paths, seating, and trees, plus at least one other feature of the student's choice like amphitheaters, slides, climbing walls, ice cream shops, remote control boat rentals, and many other wondrous elements.
Susan worked with two fifth grade classes to teach them about City Planning basics and drawing to scale. They then designed a model of a scaled walkable community that included essential features like housing, stores, schools and roads and additional elements like parks, bike trails and transit stations.
This was a great learning experience for the students and a wonderful way to get them involved and thinking about urban growth. For the next several weeks, the exhibits can be viewed at the locations listed in this link: http://aiaportland.org/in-the-gallery-may.