Last week, the Seventh Grade suspended their regular classes for our Architecture Expo Signature Project. During Architecture Expo, students learned the basics of building as they collaboratively created physical and digital models of a Wonder of the World. They participated in three workshops where they learned how to scale their models (with Math Teacher Sydney Carter '11), create different textures and shapes with their materials (with Art Teacher Natalie Drutz) and build with the digital tool Sketchup (with Digital Thinking Teacher Lindsay Kelland). Students put their models on display in time for student-led conferences on Friday, and the models will remain on display until the end of the school year. 

They also took a field trip to the Mount Vernon neighborhood in Baltimore to explore how ancient Greco-Roman architecture inspired the buildings and monuments we visit today. They visited the Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the Enoch Pratt Free Library, the Walters Museum, First Unitarian Church, the George Peabody Library and the Washington Monument. Students were even given the opportunity to climb the monument to see a 360-degree view of the neighborhood. 

Additionally, they participated in a Zoom Q&A with a working architect, Jennifer Durrah, from the Mcmillan-Pazdan-Smith architecture firm and received feedback from a parent volunteer, Jeff Blomgren, who is a structural engineer at Due Diligence, Inc. about halfway through their builds. Finally, they completed a scavenger hunt on campus for different types of architecture at Garrison Forest. 

About the project, Middle School Teacher Megan Miller said, "In my opinion, Architecture Expo is one of the most challenging projects our Middle Schoolers complete. They have limited time to create their builds, and they must collaborate to succeed. This is a truly interdisciplinary signature project. They are using their art, math, social-emotional, science and history skills all at once. There is a lot of opportunity for frustration, and that means that they are actively refining their ability to persevere."