Recently, team members of SH Architecture had the opportunity to visit Whitney Elementary School and speak to a class of 4th grade students regarding architecture and how math and science play critical roles in the profession. The presentation was part of the Clark County School District’s “Science in the Schools” initiative which allows students to hear from professionals in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math to give them a better understanding of how these subjects are essential tools for life after school.
Below is a bit more about each of the experiences had by the SH Architecture team members and their takeaways from the presentation.
Kimberlyn Caoagas, Design Associate
Growing up and going to school in the Las Vegas valley was definitely a unique experience. Not only were we in the position to take field trips to state parks and national preserves just outside the city, but we had the fortune of seeing our neighborhoods flourish with the advancement of technology and industry as well.
Presenting to the students at Whitney Elementary was such a rewarding experience in that we could share the magic that sparks when science, technology, engineering, and mathematics come together. It’s one thing to talk to students about how important it is to pay attention in school and emphasize that their learning material is relevant to their lives. However, it’s a more transformative experience when they can be shown that the marriage of their imagination and intellect can be combined to make their world a better place.
Christel Jefferson-Trice, Design Associate
I enjoyed speaking to the students of Whitney Elementary.
I loved how fascinated they were with the everyday tools that we designers use for our projects (color fan decks, fabrics, etc.) and how architecture can be inspired by the life and nature they see around them every day.
Most importantly, I was happy to encourage the students to not be intimidated by their studies, but to know the potential they have within themselves to pursue successful careers and a healthy way of living.
Ben Snape, Design Associate
I enjoyed our time speaking with the children about the research methods we use to plan a healthy interior environment. The children appreciated the knowledge that we were using science to create better building environments, they were also pleased to know that not every classroom has to look the same. Kudos to the others on our team for creating a directly applicable mathematics exercise. The children are currently learning area calculations, fraction manipulation, and unit conversions in their classes. They were excited and focused on the area problem. One of the greatest realizations of the children was that color was a science, you could see the children were excited to think outside the box in terms of future careers.
Hope Friedman, Design Associate
I’m always excited and humbled to get to speak with students about architecture. Kids are great litmus’ tests for architecture because they see space in such a special way. The practice of architecture is not always an acknowledged career path to young kids despite how prevalent it is to everything they do in their daily lives from being at school, to the parks the play at, to their homes; so it’s interesting to see how kids start to put that together that there is a designer who thought about all those things. This was an especially fun day to talk to them because we got to tie in how math, science, and technology relate to architecture and the challenges that arise our daily jobs. I wanted so badly to admit we use calculators to help us out but it was so cute to walk the kids through finding the area of a room and see them doing the multiplication up on the white board! But I think it showed them that what they are learning in school now is truly a useful skill that will translate to a career someday. I don’t know if I could say the same about college level calculus and physics!