It’s time for my yearly plug about classes that I offer to students in grades 3 through high school.

I am an architect and have been teaching classes in architecture to students beginning when my daughter was in third grade and I was asked to join her class and let them know about what I did professionally. It was so enjoyable for me and the students that I was invited to join the class every Friday afternoon for the remainder of the semester and we designed and created a town. That was my first town planning class and I have been doing that class and others ever since.

The classes are fun and are based on the design studio model that an architectural student experiences when becoming educated in the field of architecture and design. The atmosphere is one of  respect for all ideas and creativity and exploration are encouraged.

What we do is delve into the topic of that workshop whether it’s airports, towns or Egyptian architecture. Then after some discussion and a brief lesson in drawing to scale, I provide the students with a design challenge. It could be to design an airport, or take three elements of Egyptian design and apply those elements to a contemporary design. Using cardboard, poster board, tape, markers and maybe some paint, the students construct their ideas. Because it is an open studio environment, there is an exchange of ideas and sharing of expertise.

What is most interesting to me is how on the first day of every workshop that I offer, the students sit quietly and intently waiting for me to be the teacher but in an hour or so they understand that this is a collaborative effort where everyone is involved and everyone has something to contribute.

The students can work either independently or as a team. That’s up to the individual. What I have found is that most students team up early on and work out what they will be responsible for. They also help each other out a lot as well. It really does become a collaborative effort.

I work with the students and do my own project along with them as well as assist students as they request it.

The goal for me is for the students to have fun while learning more about the field of architecture and design.

For additional information on the classes, you can go to Architecture 101 for Kids and Teens.