Events, People

SOM Teams Up with Students to Fundraise for Arts in Bay Area Schools

On October 10, 2015, architects, engineers, and elementary school students gathered at Ocean Beach in San Francisco to face off in the 32nd Annual Sandcastle Contest, organized by the nonprofit Leap Arts in Education.

SOM once again teamed up with the Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program at Clarendon Elementary School, helping fourth and fifth grade students to conceptualize, design, and finally create a giant sand sculpture. Inspired by this year’s “Sand Cinema” theme, the team created a rapt movie-watching audience of the students’ favorite characters: Hello Kitty, Totoro, Stuart the Minion, Baymax, and a popcorn-chomping Godzilla.

For several months prior to the event, SOM architects and engineers guided Clarendon students through the architectural design process while teaching them about the role of architects and contractors. The students also visited SOM’s San Francisco office, where they presented their design concepts and created clay models. This year’s team was sponsored by American Repographics Company and Viracon, and featured volunteers from Rudolph and Sletten General and Engineering Contractors, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, and BuroHappold Engineering.

Thirteen groups participated in the public, daylong fundraising event that facilitates collaboration between the AEC industry and local elementary schools. Reaching over 7,000 children each year, Leap provides arts education to elementary and middle schools across the San Francisco Bay Area.