Greeley Elementary Outdoor Learning Environment
How can an outdoor learning environment better support the diverse ways in which children learn through play?
The PTO of Greeley Elementary School launched a project to reimagine the school’s outdoor play area. Emphasizing a lack of natural materials and the value of play in learning, the PTO partnered with us to redesign the outdoor space. Originally comprised of 80% hardscape and prescribed play equipment, we paired behavioral analysis, interview and workshop goals, and curricular influences to create a flexible and natural outdoor space.
VISIONING + PROGRAMMING • USER RESEARCH • COMMUNITY WORKSHOPS • ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN
ROLE + COMPETENCIES:
ENGAGEMENT LEAD• RESEARCH + STRATEGY • WORKSHOP DESIGN + FACILITATION
- Desk research on cognitive development and play as learning
- Observation of activities and behaviors in current outdoor area
- Interviews with parents, faculty and leadership
- Surveys distributed to parents, faculty and leadership
- Student Workshop exploring types of places children respond to and asking them to design an imaginary world for their outdoor area
- Faculty Workshop to explore types of places they see as valuable for students and asking them to define the types of uses they would use for teaching
- Family workshop and stakeholder sessions
Rendering of outdoor classroom by Rebecca Freise at 4TonDream
Created in collaboration with TheThirdTeacher+. Teammates included Gustavo Mendoza (Design), Sarah Malin (Research), Emi Day (Code), Mary Cavanaugh & Jason Meyering (Quality Control).