Students Envisioning the Schools of the Future

December 07, 2011

By Mark Bishop, HSC vice president of policy and communications

At HSC, we love talking about students changing the future of school food. Each year at Cooking up Change, I’m just left speechless by the remarkable work of students engaged in creating healthy and great-tasting school lunches that meet real-life budgets and constraints. The winning meals these students create go on to be served in school cafeterias and influence the way school leaders (and our elected representatives) think about healthy eating in schools.

Each year I’m reminded: it’s true that students will change the world.

That’s why I was so honored last year to be at another competition that puts student creativity and vision front and center, one where students design the school of the future. In this competition, I saw students design a school that is green, healthy, and safe, one that promotes community and becomes an integral part of the learning experience.

So rather than inadequately describing the School of the Future Design Competition presented by our friends at the Council for Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI), I’ll invite you to see for yourself and check out the impressive results of the 2011 competition.

For 2012, registration is open so please take a look. CEFPI is looking for a few good students and mentors to take on the challenge. Do you have a vision for the school of the future? Do you know a student or a designer ready to help transform the future of school facilities? Consider being part of the 2012 School of the Future competition

The annual competition, open to middle school students, challenges student teams to design their schools to enhance learning, conserve resources, be environmentally responsive and engage the surrounding community. The multi-disciplinary solution requires students to follow a planning process from the concept phase to completion of the project, with thorough documentation. The students will present their project to a jury for review.

Words don’t really capture the energy of this competition or the experience of seeing students present their ideas, the pride they show and the creativity that will guide us to a new, greener and healthier future for school design.