School of the Future Showcases School Design
OLYMPIA — March 15, 2011 — School design doesn’t have to come only from experts. It can also come from students.
That’s the idea behind School of the Future, being held this week at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction building in Olympia. Sponsored by the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI), the competition allows groups of middle school students the chance to design their own schools.
“A healthy, updated, and well-maintained learning environment helps students succeed,” said Randy Dorn, state superintendent. “And having students give their ideas on the best buildings possible can only be a good thing.”
The competition, according to the CEFPI Web site, asked students “to design their schools to enhance learning, conserve resources, be environmentally responsive and engage the surrounding community.” Students were required to submit a video or PowerPoint presentation along with a 750-word narrative about their planning process.
Regional juries were held in February. Four teams from Washington competed at the regional event – two from Stewart Middle School in Tacoma, and two from Mill Creek Middle School in Kent – but were eliminated by teams from Alaska. The Alaska teams will go to the national competition in Washington, D.C.
The School of the Future is a precursor to the national School Building Week, (April 11-15), which includes the national School of the Future competition as well as a look at how schools serve as centers of communities; and other community, state and national events.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K-12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine Educational Service Districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.
OSPI does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual preference/orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.
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