It’s not often that you hear of middle school students presenting architecture projects, but that’s what they were doing at the Corning Museum of Glass Wednesday morning.
The purpose of the Architectural Awareness Program is to teach students about the industry by giving them hands-on experience.
A total of 63 students from six area middle schools and one high school (Bradford Central School, Cohen Middle School, Addison Middle School, Thomas Edison High School, Dana Lyon Middle School, Ernie Davis Academy, and Waverly Middle School) presented their design projects to an audience as part of the program.
“The program is all about learning about architecture, and going out into the community, and finding a project to work on – a space that’s maybe vacant or abandoned,” Cindy Dubots, a Career Education Resource Specialist at Career Development Council, said. “They repurpose that into something that would be useful to the community.”
It took about four months for students to complete their projects with the help of a teacher and architect as mentors.
Addison Middle School worked on creating a tiny house community in Cameron Mills where a trailer park currently stands.
“We decided to do this project because it really has a lot of potential, and it’s a nice environment for people who don’t have much to live in,” Rylee Pepper, an 8th grader at Addison Middle School, said. “I think we’re all pretty happy with it.”
The purpose of a tiny house is to make as much use as possible with as little space as possible. The students showed examples by having a chair on display which easily transformed into a mini ladder.
In a video, they also showed how a murphy bed, or better known as a wall bed, commonly used in tiny homes can easily provide extra floor space and transform into a couch when effortlessly pinned up against the wall.
Other projects by other students included the remodeling of Eldridge Park, repurposing Chemung Elementary School into a community center, and much more.
One teacher hopes that this curiousity sticks with the students.
“I hope that some of them are going to stay interested in this, and I think they will,” Addison Middle School Science Teacher Joseph Palko said. “We’ve got several students that keep talking about the future. They’re only in 8th grade. All these kids are in 8th grade, so they’ve got a lot of time to figure out what they want to do, but some of them are becoming more interested in this architecture and this design piece.”
The program is in its 19th year.