During the Fall 2015 semester, volunteers from SOM’s Washington, D.C. office led Stoddert Elementary students in a study of architecture, planning, and community design. The class was part of the Architecture in the Schools program that is organized annually by the Washington Architectural Foundation. The fourth graders were taught to understand the building blocks of strong communities around the world, and the role that architecture and urban planning play in shaping them.
The program culminated in a project in which the students applied the concepts they had learned to the design of a vertical community. Each student had the chance to take a floor of a skyscraper and design and build a model based on their chosen function. The final, collaborative result was displayed at the District Architecture Center, where an end-of-semester reception was held on January 16, 2016 for the students and their families.