LSU Designs & Builds Playgrounds

LSU Designs & Builds Playgrounds


♪ MUSIC ♪ I TEACH A SERVICE LEARNING
CLASS. IT IS A FIRST YEAR FRESHMEN LEVEL DESIGN COURSE
AND MY STUDENTS WORK WITH THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO
DESIGN AND BUILD PLAYGROUNDS AT THE SCHOOLS. AND THEY TRY TO
TRANSLATE THE IDEAS OF THE KIDS. KIDS ARE THE TRUE EXPERTS
AT PLAY. MY STUDENTS HAVE TO TRANSLATE THEIR IDEAS INTO
REALITY, ESSENTIALLY A DESIGN ON PAPER, AND THEN WE ALL WORK
TOGETHER. THE COMMUNITY WORKS WITH THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
STUDENTS AND WE TRY TO RAISE
FUNDS AND THEN ACTUALLY GO OUT AND
BUILD A PLAYGROUND AS
VOLUNTEERS. WHAT WE DO IS WE MEET
WITH THE STUDENTS, WE MEET WITH THE SCHOOL AND WE
FIND SOMETHING THAT EVERYONE LIKES, NOT JUST THE FACULTY AND
NOT JUST THE STUDENTS, WE TRY TO COMBINE ALL THESE IDEAS TOGETHER
AND WE ALL PUT OUR HEADS TOGETHER AND WE WORK AND
WE COME UP WITH A PLAYGROUND
DESIGN. AND THEN AFTER THAT, THEN THE
HARD WORK COMES IN. WE DO THE BID SPECS AND WE DO THE PROPOSAL
AND TRY TO GAIN FUNDING. AND THEN AFTER IT IS ALL SAID AND
DONE, WE CAN BUILD A PLAYGROUND. ONCE WE GET THE MONEY THE
PROCESS IS PRETTY QUICK. WE TYPICALLY CAN BUILD IN 2
DAYS, A PLAYGROUND AND WE DO THAT THROUGH A VOLUNTEER
EFFORT. AND ABOUT 25-33% OF MY STUDENTS WILL ACTUALLY
COME BACK FROM THE CLASS THAT THEY TOOK TO BUILD A DESIGN. BEING ABLE TO ACTUALLY TAKE
SOMETHING LIKE A COMPUTER PROGRAM AND THEN ACTUALLY TURN
THAT INTO A PLAYGROUND DESIGN, AND THEN ACTUALLY SEEING THAT
DESIGN BUILT IN REAL LIFE AND SEEING PEOPLE ENJOY IT. THAT IS
KIND OF WHAT THE GREAT THING IS ABOUT DOING THE PLAYGROUND
PROJECTS. IN TERMS OF WHAT THE STUDENTS
GET FROM THIS COURSE, I THINK THEY GET REALLY EXCITED. A LOT
OF THEM ARE INTERESTED IN ENGINEERING CAREERS. BEYOND
THAT, THEY ENJOY HANDS ON, BUT THEY ALSO INEVITABLY WILL COME
BACK AND SAY THIS PROJECT REALLY MEANT SOMETHING TO ME AND I PUT
IN A LOT OF EXTRA HOURS BECAUSE I KNEW THAT IT WAS GOING TO
ESSENTIALLY IMPACT THE KIDS AT THIS SCHOOL, AND BOY, WHEN
I INTERACTED WITH THE KIDS AT THE SCHOOL, I GOT REALLY
EXCITED AND I KNEW I WAS DOING SOMETHING THAT WAS NOT JUST
REAL, BUT IT WAS SOMETHING THAT REALLY HAD THE POTENTIAL
TO IMPACT AN ENTIRE COMMUNITY.

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