Friday, September 16th in front of Sen Yai Sen Lek , Edison Design Career Technology Education students turned parking spaces into "parks". Many saw first-hand how their work with Urban Architects and Urban Planners created interactive and engaging activities for the public. Stantec’s Katrina Nygaard and Allyson Czechowicz, in conjunction with the Minnesota Women in Landscape Architecture chapter, have been mentoring two classes of students as they plan and design their park. One team built a park for board games and face painting while the second class created a space to teach people a traditional Somali dance, Dhaanto. Face painting, Jenga and a mini soccer field were also a popular activity for students and the public.
The park(ing) day project goes beyond bringing awareness of preserving green space for it also aligns with the IB/Middle Years (MYP) and Career Technology Education (CTE) programs.
MYP alignment: The students worked directly with Urban Architects and Urban Planners to creativity problem solve as a collaborative group a solution for each parking space. They worked in teams to come up with different ideas about how to solve the issues of time, space and budget to create interactive and engaging activities for the public that could be feasibly planned and created in 2 weeks and fit inside 1 parking spot. They learned to take into account "client specifications" dealing with the requirements of the city and adapted their ideas to fit these needs so that each space would be safe as well as engaging to the public. Through this experience as well as the information provided by WILA (women in landscape architecture) they will be more prepared and knowledgeable about career paths in the greater world such as architecture and /or project management which is part of the MYP plan for design. Throughout this project the students have had the opportunity to "solve complex, real-life problems in both familiar and unfamiliar contexts" as the MYP design guide states. They also have moved through 3 out of 4 of the objectives, inquiring and analyzing, developing ideas, creating the solution and will evaluate on the day of the event as they see their ideas come to life and have to match the theoretical to the reality. The MYP learner profile traits of CARING about the community and being RISK-TAKERS also come into play with this event.
The CTE connection: Students used a website to create and design their own graphic artwork for each postcard and playing cards. These playing card designs were printed and hung up as a mini art show as a border to the parking space. This project introduced graphic arts/design skills and how they can be used both recreationally and as a career.