How can communities turn underutilized schoolyards into outdoor classrooms that could enable students to safely return to school? Submit your idea to the Design AID: Outdoor Learning Spaces Competition!
With funding from the William Penn Foundation, and in partnership with the School District of Philadelphia, the Community Design Collaborative is seeking innovative and creative solutions for outdoor learning in a time of global crisis – and beyond – to bring students back to school as soon as safely possible and to expand opportunities for outdoor learning in the future.
School buildings have a limited amount of square footage to address the proper social distancing necessary for all students to return to school, but the typically underused schoolyard can be used to expand learning environments to the outdoors. Open-air classrooms were used to prevent the spread of tuberculosis in the early 20th-century, and outdoor learning has been shown to have physical, emotional, and social benefits for kids.
Architects and designers are encouraged to submit ideas for outdoor learning spaces that can be easily and inexpensively implemented by schools in Philadelphia and elsewhere. Anyone can participate! And everyone’s a winner!
The Community Design Collaborative will compile all feasible design solutions in the Design AID: Outdoor Learning Spaces Design Guide that will serve as a digital resource to support Philadelphia schools and schools across the U.S. and the globe in their efforts to safely go back to school. The School District of Philadelphia will use the design guide to implement 5-6 pilot learning spaces at Philadelphia schools this fall.
The competition opened Friday, August 14, 2020 and the deadline for submissions is Sunday, August 23, 2020. The digital design guide will launch Monday, September 14, 2020. More information is available at www.cdesignc.org/outdoor-learning
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