• Evien Berry

Student Design Presentations

Updated: Nov 3, 2020

Spring Lake High School offers a wide variety of electives for students to choose from. Whether they’re interested in cooking (Foods of the World), woodshop (Gone Boarding), or art (ceramics), the bases are covered. One elective creative students can opt to take is Design, taught by Mrs. Gwinnup. In Design class, students are encouraged to channel their creativity to design a variety of different projects. From drawing an apple one hundred different ways to creating 3D models of room layouts, Design experiments with creative problem solving. Recently, Design students were presented with the assignment to design either an outdoor classroom or redesign an area inside the school. They created an idea board, sketched the designs, made 3D models, and finally put everything together into one Powerpoint. Students then went to the auditorium and each presented their design to the class.

There was a wide variety of different ideas from students. The uniqueness of the designs also came with how they handled COVID-19 protocol. Many adhered to social distancing guidelines and incorporated plexiglass. Gwen Ortquist presented her idea of redesigning the art room called “The Rainbow Room”. She stated, “We were asked to tackle the issue of social distancing in the class while also refurbishing or redesigning it.” Most of the students who designed indoor spaces complained about the issue of plexiglass. Lina Miedema, who designed what she calls the “21st Century Classroom”, set out to fix the issue of the instability of the current plexiglass arrangement. She added tracks for the plexiglass to sit in so it won’t tip over.

Many of the students chose to design outdoor classrooms, which ranged from very simple setups to very complex ones. Isabelle Ziegenthaler created the “Study Sunroom” with couches, many windows, and a dome ceiling made of glass. She saw one the greatest issues with classrooms being the fluorescent lighting and said that students want to see outside more. Some of the outdoor classroom designs weren’t “rooms” at all, but rather outdoor spaces intended for learning. These outdoor spaces included picnic tables, hooks to hang backpacks, comfy chairs with tables built into them, and umbrellas, among other conveniences. When designing their outdoor classroom simply called “Comfy”, Brayden Clark and Alex Powers considered that “teachers and most students wanted to be able to have collaboration. With the plexiglass we didn’t have that.” While these outdoor spaces may seem the most practical and cost effective, students ran into the issue of them only being able to be used when the weather is warm enough.

One item every presentation had in common was the thought put into it. Each student set out to tackle the assignment in a unique and thoughtful way. Mrs. Gwinnup concluded by saying, “I really am inspired by all of your ideas.” The creativity of Spring Lake students should not be overlooked in the COVID-19 related challenges that are currently being faced. Who knows, perhaps one of these ideas could become reality.

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