Our Denver office participated in an eight-week volunteer series for Denver Architectural Foundation Cleworth Architecture Legacy (DAFCAL). DAFCAL brings participating architecture firms into local K-12 schools to teach young students about the Design profession.
This year, Cuningham Group was paired with two 5th grade classes at High Tech Elementary School. The sessions covered a series of four architecture lessons for each class. The lessons, which were crafted by Cuningham Group architects in collaboration with the school’s teachers, covered the following topics:
- Bridge Building: an introduction to how bridges are made, including the materials and structures used to support the design of a bridge. Students made their own bridges and each bridge was tested using a cup of pennies to determine its strength and capacity.
- Dream Home: an introduction to designing a home using floor plans and typical house layouts. Students brainstormed concepts for their own dream homes and each designed a floor plan.
- Build the Dream Home: a segment connected to “Dream Home” where students learned about the different materials and designs incorporated in the exterior and interior aspects of a home. Students built their dream homes using various supplies like paper, foam core and glue.
- Build a Community: an introduction to neighborhood master planning, where students collaborated to create a neighborhood master plan using their knowledge from previous lessons. Each student’s dream home was placed on the their neighborhood master plan.
Each session contained a fun, hands-on activity where students collaborated and created different structures using school supplies. The activities allowed students to further explore the concepts they learned about during each lesson.
At the end of the final lesson, students were asked whether or not they would consider a future career in architecture. Excitingly, a few kids raised their hands.