The week before Spring Break, a group of fifth graders at Pink Elementary nervously gathered to welcome City of Frisco city planners.
The students had been hard at work collaborating with peers from other grade levels to create a civilization and were excited to learn from those who work to develop a city everyday.
Comprehensive Planner Samantha Browne explained to the students that she makes sure the city is laid out in a way that considers not only where the city is now but where it is going.
“It’s really nice to see the next generation learning what I didn’t even know existed when I was their age,” Browne said. “I’m hoping with our visit that we might be able to spark their interest in architecture and engineering. There are so many factors to consider when planning for the future of a city.”
Browne was joined by city planners Arabella Lopez and Britain Seright. They explained that when someone wants to develop land, the city planners help lay a foundation for that development to happen.
“Imagine a puzzle that has not been cut yet. We help cut out the pieces,” Seright said.
Throughout their presentation, students related the concepts presented to the civilization that they were developing. From population considerations and the impact on infrastructure and resources, it was clear that students wanted to learn more about their own community and how it came to be.
The students were excited to have the opportunity to see the original site plans of Pink Elementary while they learned about setbacks, facade plans, fire lanes, points of access and parking lots.
“It seems that sometimes the boring parts are the most important,” chimed in a student as his group discussed its own civilization plans.
“My favorite part is that the students are relating what’s happening in their projects with the real world,” said Misty Lewin, a Pink Elementary fifth grade teacher. “They are learning the ‘why’ behind choices and seeing that there are checks and balances to each decision that is made.
“They are learning skills that are not only valuable in this lesson or class, but in their overall growth and development in critical thinking skills.”
The students pulled out their blueprints and gathered around them and gained insight from the class visitors who gave them other ideas to consider in the development.
It was clear that the students were thrilled to learn directly from the experts.
“I thought it was cool how they work as a team and maybe one day we can do that too,” said Sloane Kennedy, a student in Lewin’s class.