What an exciting day. MLK would be so proud of the way these kids from Zaniac in Westport pulled together a community in 3 hours on his birthday.
So here's how it went...
We started the day by introducing the 3Dux/design architectural sets to the kids, reviewing angles and how the connectors are used to create structures. We talked about how the connectors were designed to fit most cardboard so kids can recycle and help the environment as they create. Each student received his/her very own set to keep (lots of cheers here). And of coarse, the kids were excited to have the chance to work with Ayana and Ethan, the founders of 3Dux/design.
Next we discussed what goes into a city. Lots of ideas were thrown out "houses, apartment buildings, tents, cellular towers, water towers ...". Even tents for homeless and trees for oxygen were included in the brainstorming session. We talked about suburbs vs urban landscapes, and the importance of parks and play areas in all communities. We placed a tree at the intersection of Rohan Lane, Zaniac Boulevard, and Hama Way.
We discussed bringing culture into the community; we made a Statue of Liberty and discussed immigration. We even added an Eiffel Tower. Below is a very detailed work of art created by a young lady who wanted to bring her indian heritage into the community. Notice the details- fingers, toes, a floral patterned sari, and an ice cream cone/tennis racket in the left hand (she was undecided).
This water tower was made by a 7 and 9 year old. They imagined, designed, engineered and built this structure as a crucial, but not necessarily obvious part of urban planning. Notice the details of the structure and how it is placed on top of the original architectural drawing.
WOW. JUST WOW.
We also studied the 3Dux/design cardboard pieces and how they were designed with unique shapes within shapes, so that we can use both the larger pieces for big structures and the internals for smaller, detailed work like the firetruck made out of the doors and windows in this fire station. We talked about negative space and efficient use of materials in manufacturing.
Once the structures were made, we placed them within the city perimeter and filled in some details with crayon. When the city was complete, every child had the opportunity to talk about what he/she created and how it worked within the city. They were proud of what they contributed and were excited to share their project with the group. We discussed as a team what we forgot ( a school and a fire station were the most obvious) because no city is perfect and there's always room for improvement.
Then the kids moved on to recreate the ENTIRE project in the virtual reality world of minecraft. This helped kids integrate what we imagine, see, create, and experience in the real world with what we imagine and create in a virtual world. It was a fun filled day at Zaniac Westport and we are already planning what we will do for President's Day.
If you think your school or after school program would like to incorporate this program into a curriculum, call or email us for details.