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New Rochelle Public Library: Superhero Homes

ArchForKids in the Press – read all about us!

WPIX-TV news feature

See ArchForKids co-founder Janny Gedeon in action during an afterschool program at PS149 in Brooklyn.

Pictured at right: Janny Gedeon and PIX11 reporter Ayana Henry

Janny Gedeon & Ayana Henry

High Line Blog: Q & A with ArchForKids

The High Line, a regular partner of ArchForKids, interviewed the founding partners. We discuss how our venture started and our approach to learning.

Why architecture? It surrounds us – it is relevant, easily accessible and tangible. Kids like building things, feeling the accomplishment of problem-solving and creating something interesting, useful and beautiful. We think architecture is a great medium for all kinds of learning and doing.

What the Design Process Can Teach Kids

Find out why the design process used by architects and engineers is a fantastic learning tool for young people. Article written by Michael Bettencourt for ArchForKids.

Young people should find something that excites them, focuses their imagination on exploring that thing, and find ways to be proud of their work – and humble about their achievements. And finally, they should share their results with the world in the hopes that what they have designed and built will help someone else. 

For the Love of Learning

ArchForKids co-founder Janny Gédéon was featured on the web-based show, For the Love of Learning: Voices of the Alternative Education Movement. Janny and two other guests explained how and why they use Project-Based Learning to spark student engagement and achievement.

Project Based Learning empowers learners to focus for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge surrounding a particular topic or field. There are different practical applications and in this broadcast we will explore how two school-based educators and one homeschooling family employ PBL into their practice.

 

Innovative Educational Programs: ArchForKids

Read an interview with the three ArchForKids partners to learn about their inspirations, goals and what they think is missing from education today:

 

We found out that a lot of kids need to sharpen problem-solving skills. When they can’t figure something out, they go to the adult and say, “I can’t do this, can you do it for me?” So by doing group work, they actually help each other solve the challenges we pose. They are thinking for themselves, and they come up with their own solutions. It is not about the right or wrong solution, it’s more open-ended, as in, “What is my interpretation of this?” ArchForKids is not teacher-driven, we are student-driven.

 

The Value of Critical Thinking

ArchForKids co-founder Janny Gédéon reflects on the importance of developing young peoples’ critical thinking skills for success in school, careers and life in general.

I’m not saying that educators shouldn’t encourage a stunning end product, but the how and why of getting there is key. Teachers should allow their students to make mistakes, apply different strategies to discover meaning, question their process, and nurture the critical thinking skills necessary not only for the assignment at hand, but also for their future success as contributors to society.

From STEM to STEAM: In Defense of the Creative Critical Thinker

STEM [Science Technology Engineering Math] is important. STEAM [with the ‘a’ for art & design] is even better. ArchForKids co-founder Karen Orloff explains why.

Successful people cannot merely possess knowledge: They must be problem-solvers and innovators. The creative aspect of learning cannot be ignored. Through project-based learning and hands-on activities focused on the application of knowledge rather than memorization, students are taught to work in teams, grow and adapt to changing industries, and provide solutions for problems large and small.

What is Project Based Learning?

ArchForKids co-founder Janny Gédéon explains project-based learning, which is incorporated in all our learning experiences.

PBL marries the practical application of abstract academic concepts to critical 21st-century workplace values. Students assume collaborative responsibilities as they work in teams to address identified needs. They learn empathy, passion, compassion, and resiliency. They create products together, and in so doing they benefit themselves, their teacher, their classroom, and their larger community.

Youth Charrette

An overview of our design challenge with the Association of Haitian & American Engineers:

 

As the brainstorming began, the room became abuzz with exchanges, discussions of what was most needed in Haiti. As I walked around the room, I heard questions like, “What is the most important thing that could help Haiti right now? Should the structure be located in the capital or another city? Who will benefit from it?” Hospitals, schools, childcare centers and a bridge to link two communities separated by a river were among the concepts discussed, sketched, and designed.

Rivertowns Enterprise – Inside Education

Intergenerational Program with Dobbs Ferry seniors and middle schoolers.

Dobbs Ferry Middle School 8th graders in the Friends of Rachel (FOR) Club are building bridges with the community’s senior citizens…literally. Fifteen FOR Club members visited the Embassy Community Center this past week for lunch and to work on an architectural project with the local senior citizens group as part of an ongoing intergenerational series bridging the generation gap.

Community Planning for Kids

This article in the Rivertowns Daily Voice featured our challenge to kids to re-design downtown Dobbs Ferry NY.

With the challenge to propose some child-friendly improvements for downtown Dobbs Ferry NHY, participants completed a neighborhood investigation, interviewed village officials, drew their plans to scale and constructed 3-D models of their designs.

ArchForKids design challenges

Overview of one-day charrettes for kids.

For the Dobbs Ferry program, titled Space Odyssey 3000, “some adventurous earthlings have decided to inhabit a new frontier on Planet X,” representatives said and the “challenge is to construct a brand new city in a place with scorching heat, unimaginable cold and little gravity.”

Chair Masters Design Studio

Rivertowns Enterprise, Kids Sit for Crash Course on Form, Function.

 

The results, unveiled before an audience of parents, were impressive. There was a double-seater chair, a regal King’s Throne, a chaise lounge with a built-in cup holder, and the “Monster Mama,” as functional as it was decorative – the chair decked out in every color of the rainbow.