Education by Design: Our Lego Class Lays the Foundation

What do you get when you mix architects, interior designers, 5th graders, Legos and the Spanish language? An incredible dual language STEM project experience! Our team recently had the opportunity to work with students at Eisenhower International School where they are immersed in Spanish in their classroom. Since several of our staff speak Spanish as their native language, we thought this would be a great combination of sharing their language as well as what we do in our profession. We were right. [caption id="attachment_4087" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]LEGO Class Blog 1 Adriana Vadasz, a member of our interior design team and native Venezuelan works with the class to translate common architectural terms into Spanish.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4089" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]LEGO Class blog 2_Adriana Our team showed the students both digital and physical building models, like this one we created in-house with our 3D printer.[/caption] "Building Blocks 101" was the class we taught in two different sessions. First, we focused on providing them with an overview of both architecture and interior design, the processes we use from concept design through construction, and what tools we utilize to develop a project. The students were very attentive as they listened and participated in the discussion and asked incredibly intelligent questions. After seeing an animation of a high school we designed in New York, one female student even asked about a sloped roof and how the water would run off of it (I see a future engineer in the making!). As we wrapped up the first session, we asked the students to design and create their "dream school" with Legos. LEGO Class blog 3 We were pleasantly surprised upon our return for the second session. Their projects were creative and well thought out. The students were enthusiastic about presenting their projects, and at the end of the presentation, each team member told about a favorite part of their project in Spanish. LEGO Class Blog 4 Sailka, another one of our Spanish-speaking designers from Venezuela, wrapped up the class by giving them an overview and critique of each project in Spanish. It was great to watch them listening and giggling at some of the remarks. To see the level of engagement on their faces was so encouraging and made this one of the most rewarding outreach experiences at KSQ. We hope to bring this same program to more classrooms.

 I hope your team enjoyed it as much as we did!  We left the structures out for two weeks and every single child in the school was fascinated.  I talked with so many younger kiddos about what an architect does, why the 5th graders chose particular things to feature, etc.  We all learned something! Barbara McCrary, Librarian, Eisenhower International School

Local magazine Tulsa Kids covered the class. All photos by Melissa Lukenbaugh photography.