Teachers, Kathleen Dewar, Sarah Walker, along with two classes of Grade Six students were just finishing investigating trees and forests with one last capstone project to be planned. Our previous inquiry work established comfort with interdisciplinary work, however we challenged ourselves to go deeper, to create and make.
Employing design-thinking framework students decided on designing a naturalized plant park for the new local Roberta Bondar School. Procurement of architectural plans uncovered there were no founded proposals for a park, thus presenting the students with a rich, real world problem.
Connecting with local landscape architect assisted in reframing, defining and analyzing future students’ needs. Students then began with concept plans, small directive thoughts or thematic inspirations to guide future layout and planting plans. The ideation and experimentation stage of the process was rich with responsive feedback and rigorous collaboration. There were five separate iterative cycles until ten final group plans were finalized. Pitches for the plans were created and shared within an open house format. Local stakeholders from CBE, City of Calgary, Strathcona Community and the Provincial Government were invited to hear and provide feedback on student proposals. Collectively, we have grown and changed, developing a capacity to understand, interact and manipulate the designed world around us.