2014 STEM Career Discovery Day: “World of An Architect: Responding to the Needs of Others”

Organized by the AIABaltimore FAR Outreach Team: Sharon Day, AIA; Kathleen Sherrill, AIA; Zevi Thomas, Assoc. AIA; and Anthony Consoli, AIA LEED AP

 

On Saturday, September 6, the AIABaltimore Future Architects Resources (FAR) committee participated in the 2014 Expanding Your Horizons–STEM Career Discovery Day with their program “World of an Architect: Responding to the Needs of Others” at Stevenson University.  This is the 2nd year that FAR has participated in this excellent STEM program offering middle school girls the opportunity to learn about careers in math and science.

Introduction to Architecture
Sharon and Kathleen shared their own stories of how they came to choose to study architecture. Also about their current activities for their respective firms.

Geometry in Architecture
Kathleen quizzed students on various geometric shapes. She then used images of several famous buildings in a drawing exercise for students to discover the geometry used in the design of each.

Structure in Architecture
Sharon provided an introduction to the design of trusses and use of triangular elements for strength. The students then were provided with 12 pieces of spaghetti, 20” of tape and 1 marshmallow to build the highest tower. Some chose to work as teams, learning important collaboration skills in the process. All seemed to have a great time with this exercise in design by modelling.

Students Involved
FAR worked with 28 students divided into three hour long sessions. Student groups rotated between sessions in trios.

Lessons Learned

  • The trio format used this year by EYH worked much better than last year’s individual, free standing workshops.
  • The geometry and tracing exercise worked very well and could be used for our other middle school outreach programs.
  • The spaghetti tower activity was especially engaging for the students. It was amazing to see how varied and creative the student’s towers were.
  • We plan to develop these two into outreach templates for other FAR volunteers to use in future Bioeyes sessions.
  • The Daron puzzles are best used as props for our events but too complicated for repeated use (taking apart and reassembling).

 

About AIABaltimore

We are third oldest chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and have over 1,100 members creating and advocating for great, sustainable design in Charm City!
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