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Architecture and Construction Project Sparks Creativity

judgesIndia Hook Elementary embarked on an innovative journey in March to introduce fourth grade students to the exciting world of architecture and construction.


School Counselor Monica Bryson-McCoy spearheaded the project to foster career awareness and essential skills through hands-on experiences.


The project is part of a comprehensive career exploration program beginning in kindergarten. By fourth grade, students had been introduced to seven career clusters, with Architecture and Construction being the latest addition. This segment allows students to delve into architectural design and structural engineering.


"This activity has truly become the little project that could," Bryson-McCoy said.


In this project, students are divided into groups of three to four and tasked with a unique challenge: design and construct a structure using only 40 straws and one roll of tape within three class periods. Groups must create an innovative display for a marshmallow, emphasizing creativity. Each group then gives its creation a unique name, adding a personal touch to their works.


Mrs. Bryson-McCoy adapted this lesson from resources provided by Students' projects and blueprints will be displayed in the school atrium, generating admiration from peers and staff.


Garnering attention beyond school walls, Superintendent Dr. Tommy Schmmolze and esteemed professionals like architect Jimmy Wilhide dedicate time to evaluating and celebrating student ingenuity. The Superintendent Award and the newly introduced Junior Architect Award recognize excellence in various categories, from structural soundness to the creativity of marshmallow displays.


Reflecting on the project's impact, Bryson-McCoy emphasized its role in developing essential skills.


"This project not only sparks creativity but also nurtures executive functioning skills like problem-solving, decision-making, and organization," she said.


Moreover, it cultivates soft skills such as cooperation and perseverance, which are essential for success in both academic and professional spheres and align with the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate.


Isabella H., a fourth grader at India Hook, appreciated the collaboration in the project and learned valuable lessons in teamwork and problem-solving.


"I like how we worked together and figured things out," she said.


As our schools build experiential learning, initiatives like the fourth grade Architecture and Construction Project exemplify educational innovation. They empower students to bridge the gap between classroom learning and real-world application. Through hands-on exploration, young minds become inspired to dream, create, and envision a future filled with endless possibilities.


Head over to our Facebook page to see additional photos of the project.