The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara’s Built Environment Education Program (BEEP) brings architects and related design professionals into the elementary school classroom, where they collaborate with teachers to expose students to fundamental architectural concepts. The goal is to encourage children to be aware of their environment and appreciate the world of design and architectural problem solving. BEEP happens over a five-week residency, beginning with an introduction to concepts of shelter, scale and design process, leading towards a culminating project where students build an architectural model of an imagined environment.
Throughout the session, students gain an understanding of the built environment’s relationship to its natural setting and an appreciation of how we interact with the places in which we live, work, and play.
The goal of BEEP is to expose elementary school students to concepts that will enable them to:
- Be sensitive to the importance of working in greater harmony with the total environment
- Recognize that they can affect the quality of the environment
- Learn introductory skills and concepts that allow designers to influence the quality of the environment.
BEEP creates a context where children collectively problem solve, design an environment, and create a model of that environment. The collaborative model for an architecture-based curriculum enables children from different backgrounds to be co-investigators and co-learners on projects. They also have the opportunity to work intimately with adults who are architects, landscape architects, artists, and university students. Math, science, and social studies are the core areas that BEEP reinforces, but children also learn skills that are transferable to other areas of their lives.
The current BEEP model is targeted towards grades 3-6. We provide enough adult professionals to create a 1:3 volunteer to student ratio within your classroom.
When you request BEEP for your students, you commit to:
- 5 weekly sessions
- 1.5 classroom hours per week
Currently BEEP offers only a five-week residency for grades 3 to 6, but shorter three-day, two-day and single-visit programs are in development, each exploring a unique architectural topic. Programs will also target first and second grade students, as well as junior high and high school classrooms. The Built-Environment Education Program will thus work in a flexible way to suit the needs of each teacher, ranging from a single classroom visit taking no more than one hour, to a five week residency where a team of volunteers work with students for two hours once a week. If you are interested in being a pilot classroom for the new model, please click here to email us.*
*This link should generate an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Potential BEEP Pilot Classroom”. If this link does not work with your browser, please send an email to Michelle Magnusson at the above email address and with the above subject line. Thank you.