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Community Spaces.

In the article "Bricks and Beats" (pp. 8-9), you learned how Michael Ford and his students use architecture to design solutions to community problems. It's your turn to design a kids' community center, a safe place for kids to spend time in your neighborhood.

Observe: Architects create physical models to plan the buildings they design.

Define the Problem: Design a model building that meets these criteria:

* It contains spaces for three different activities for kids.

* It contains a bathroom, a door, and windows.

* It is scaled for people 4 centimeters (1.5 inches) tall (the size of one LEGO() person)

Materials: LEGO bricks in a variety of shapes and sizes * scraps of cardboard * construction paper * tape * ruler * other construction materials, such as craft sticks, straws, and wooden blocks * at least one LEGO person * colored pencils


1. In small groups, brainstorm ideas for your community center. What types of spaces would be most useful for you and your peers? Record 5-10 ideas in the space below. (Examples: swimming pool, study area, gymnasium, library, cafeteria, arcade.)

2. Discuss your ideas together, and pick three to include in your model. Circle those three above.

3. With your teacher's help, use books, magazines, or websites to research how other similar spaces are designed. Use your research to help you decide on the dimensions for your community center.

4. Work together to sketch the design on a separate sheet of paper. Add labels to explain what each part of your model will be made of.

5. Use the provided materials to build your model.


1. How did your structure meet the design criteria?

2. What would you do to improve your community center? Is there anything you would change?

3. Students at Ford's camps test the stability of their designs. How might you test your model?


1. and 2. Answers will vary. 3. Answers will vary but may include adding weights to the structure or shaking it to test whether it's stable.

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Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2019
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