My name is Heber Muñoz and I would like to chat about two things that bring me great joy in life - Kids and Architecture. When I was a student at James F. Oyster Elementary School in Washington D.C., I remember leaning about architecture and having enjoyed learning what architects do. I was always intrigued to learn new things, but architecture has kept my attention ever since. During my high school years I also found out that I liked doing volunteer work. I was only supposed to complete 40 hours of required volunteer service for high school, but I enjoyed it so much that I offered to stay on as a volunteer at the Burgess Clinic in Children’s Hospital of Washington D.C. for three more years. It was such a gratifying time.
After graduating with a Masters of Architecture degree from Morgan State University, I have been volunteering at a few community events, but none brought me greater joy than becoming a volunteer teacher at Edward Felegy School of Arts Elementary School in Hyattsville, Maryland.
Teaching Architecture to Students was Awesome!!!
The principal of Mangan Group Architects, John Mangan, approached me one day in January and informed me that he had been contacted by Beth Judy at the Washington Architectural Foundation about being part of the Architecture in Schools program this year. I had never thought of becoming a volunteer teacher, much less teach architecture. I immediately jumped at the chance to be part of this program. Once Mangan Group Architects was assigned a class, a few things came to my mind.
- I have never taught a class!
Immediately I started doing research as to setting up the lesson plans. I had an overall idea, but I needed reassurance. I began asking my colleagues, former classmates, and friends. I even contacted my elementary school teacher to get some advice.
From all the advice I was getting, the best was from my elementary school teacher. “If you have fun teaching, the kids will have fun learning.”
- Murphy’s Law always rears its ugly head
Setting up the class lessons and final project was fun, but just as soon as the classes started, the snow storms also started. School closings and late starts interfered with the scheduled class lessons, and I had to adapt the class lessons and final project.
As far as adjusting the lessons and the class project, the classes went extremely well. The initial idea for the final project was for the kids to build models for animal houses. Because of the time constraints, we ended up having the students draw their animal houses, and their final drawings were arranged in a site plan for and animal house community.
- The Students had a Blast!
The students had fun learning about many aspects of architecture. They learned about how simple shapes and their imagination can turn into great drawings. Other things they learned were how buildings stand up by making arches, columns, walls, etc. using the students as the structures themselves. We had them act out how they see different colors. The learned how to draw in plan, section and elevation.
Even though they only produced one final drawing, the multiple drawings they drew on their sketchbooks were fantastic.
The final project was presented at the Washington Architectural Foundation on June 16.
- Exhibition Open House
Please stop by the District Architecture Center to see Edward Felegy’s final project as well as all of the other projects from schools that participated in the Architecture in the Schools Program.
District Architecture Center - 421 Seventh Street NW Washington, DC 20004
The Exhibition Open House will be from 10:00am until noon on Saturday July 18, 2015
The exhibition will be on display from June 24 – July 25, 2015
Please go see the phenomenal work all the students produced and visit the website to learn more about the Washington Architectural Foundation.
Visit our Facebook page to see more pictures of this amazing experience!