Architects in Schools Program

We recently began a program called Architects in Schools in which fourth graders are taught basic principles of architecture, engineering, and design. Students then use what they learn to create a final project (our class will be designing and building a model of a portion of the West Linn waterfront development).

Today we met our resident expert, Mike, a local structural engineer who has been involved in many projects in our area, including the local fire station down the street. After Mike talked to the kids about his job, the students did a lesson in which they learned what it feels like to be a structure. Hopefully this lesson on what makes a strong, dependable structure will help students make wise decisions with their future designs.

What do Fourth Graders Have in Common with Michael Jordan?

Over the break, I was listening to a podcast while working out in my yard. The podcast was a conversation between Oprah Winfrey and Phil Jackson, the former head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers who has won 11 NBA championships. During the interview, Jackson talked about how he used mindfulness with his teams to help them focus and calm themselves during practice and games. I shared this with the class today because Jackson’s teams (some of the most successful teams ever), practice the same sort of mindfulness techniques we do in our classroom. It’s pretty cool to see that we are doing the same thing to help us achieve success in our classroom as Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Shaquille O’Neal were doing to help them achieve success on the court.