Designing Learnscape

Our interns aren’t out on coffee runs. They’re busy designing and planning the construction of an outdoor learning environment for Sunflower Elementary School. Hollis + Miller Architects donates the design and construction of a signature outdoor learning classroom to a Kansas City-metropolitan area school district each year, and this year’s recipient is Shawnee Mission School District.

Leading the charge

Our team of Emerging Professionals brings their expertise and fresh perspectives to our Learnscape efforts each year. This year they have worked with all grades levels of Sunflower students to incorporate their thoughts and ideas, while also encouraging these young learners to explore the architecture field.

Leading design charrettes with our Hollis + Miller team and managing all the planning for our upcoming build day gives our interns the opportunity to own a project and take it through all phases of design and construction. Plus, they have brought their unique perspectives and ideas to the table, which will give Sunflower Elementary School a truly one-of-a-kind space for outdoor learning for generations to come.

“It’s cool to see a project come together and begin to experience all the working parts involved: researching and ordering products, coordinating a schedule with contractors and companies, and working with the city to obtain a permit. I enjoy getting to work with other interns to make our vision a reality.”

– Lauren Bailey (Kansas State University)

Focusing on environmental learning

Shawnee Mission School District encourages its students to take on their own goals for environmental learning. Each year, they allow their high school students to vote on focus areas to hone in on for the coming year. This outdoor space is centered around three curriculum goals. Those goals of water, ecology and air quality have shaped every design decision throughout this process. Students will be immersed in learning about water, ecology and air quality and how they affect the Earth and those who inhabit it in a real, tangible way.

“I’ve learned more about what it means to integrate school curriculum with our knowledge of cognitive science to create a memorable, successful and fun outdoor learning environment for students of a wide range of ages and learning styles.”

– Ingrid Peterson (University of Michigan)

Check back!

Our entire Hollis + Miller team will roll up their sleeves and get dirty constructing Learnscape over the course of two days. Check back next month to see how Build Days went!

“This is the first time I’ll be able to see a project all the way through – from visioning through construction. It’s been an exciting, eye-opening experience.”

– Kaden Beilman (Kansas State University)

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