Thursday, July 31, 2008

Twenty years down the road

My mom came across a newspaper article from 20 years ago that featured some of my classmates and me and an architecture project we did. So freakin' amusing to look back on it now. (That's me, with the bad hair day, behind the model of our school.)

Wed., June 22, 1988


Kids build on new ideas

When is a school not a school?

When it’s a scaled down likeness of same made out of foamboard, cut with a Dremel saw, put together with Elmer’s Glue and painted.

Just such a version of Markham Place School, Little Silver,was created by three sixth graders there – Aimee B., Danny C. and Becky R. – and received an Excellence Award in the Children’s Architecture Exhibit staged in Round Valley Elementary School, Lebanon Township.

Excellence Awards are the highest awards for the total exhibition.

The annual event is sponsored by the Children’s Architecture Association established in 1982 by Constance Fraze Ph.D., Oldwick, Tewskbury Township,a cognitive theorist who ran a graduate center of research on how children learn at Rutgers University.

Ms. Fraze believes children aged 6 to 12 need to be doing alot of three-dimensional work to further their learning and understanding. Currently, she conducts spring and fall teachers’ workshops on that subject in Oldwick.

“My notion in a nutshell,” she explained, “is that we literally construct our intelligence during the concrete period of operations in childhood; I’m using architecture to help children understand the use of space.”

The annual exhibition – “not a contest really,” Ms. Fraze pointed out – started with castles and went on from there. This year, 78 students from eight school districts participated. Twenty-three projects were displayed.

Categories included castles, bridges, historic buildings,modern and future structures. Students from the Little Silver Schools’ gifted and talented program had entries in all.

A scaled-down version of the Twin Lights Museum, Highlands, also received an Excellence Award. It was created by sixth graders William B., Matt R. and David N.

Rachel W., a fourth grader, received second place in the total exhibit for her fancy robot Mitchell George, who was a star of the show and entertained students by marching around the gym.

This is the fourth year students from Little Silver have shown in the exhibit, according to Joanne B., teacher in the school system’s gifted and talented program. Twenty-six students participated and learned to use such tools as T-squares, metal rulers, tape measures, levelers and Dremel sand and scroll saws to build their projects.

An Underwater Sea Castle,that included a McFish Restaurant, took first place in the fifth grade category designated the Castle Competition. Creators of the Sea Castle were fifth graders Mike V. and Mark S. and fourth graders Noelle H., Richard D., Richard B., Sam S., Taylor W. and Jennifer R.

Stephen K. won the first place award in the sixth grade category, modern division, for his version of New York’s World Trade Center, while fifth graders Bjorn S. and Matt R. took second place for their version of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco.

Fifth graders Jennifer B., Emily K., Sam S., Jennifer J. and Gretchen S. shared a first place historic award. They built a model of the White House, Washington, D.C., and discovered just how many additions were added to the original building.

Sixth graders John H. and Amiee M. shared a second place award for the Empire State Building, New York, and fifth grader Audrey W. took first place in the castle contest for her purple pagoda.

According to Mrs. B., the architecture project provides students a chance to research and execute. She said many after-school hours were sacrificed to put on the finishing touches.

“The students,” she said, “have a great deal of pride intheir finished products and the exhibit furnished them an audience whoappreciate their endeavors.”

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