May 7th, 2012

Elementary Students Imagine Their Dream City

On April 18, over 300 kids, parents and architects crowded into the urban room of the Main Public Library in downtown Salt Lake City to see the final “box city” laid out. 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students in 13 classrooms had transformed cereal boxes, paper towel rolls and construction paper into bright cities, with all the important places—from dog parks to movie theaters.

For the past 8 weeks the students explored the world of design and city planning with young architects and University of Utah architectural students through the Educating Elementary Children Through Architecture program (EECTA), sponsored by the Utah Center for Architecture and the Young Architects Forum of AIA Utah.

The architectural volunteers teach the kids about scale, space, structure, rhythm, building types, planning and presentation skills. Once the students explore design basics, they collaborate in groups to make big decisions about what to build, what materials to use, and where roads should connect. Along the way, they learn more about science, social science and improve their communication skills.

The program was created in 2004 by the Young Architects Forum and approved by the State for teaching core curriculum subjects. Local firms generously donate staff time and additional materials. This year’s program was led by Tami Beck, Assoc. AIA, of GSBS Architects.

To get involved in EECTA, contact Tami Beck at 801-521-8600.