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Building Experiential Learning into the Community


What Is Experiential Learning?

Why Experiential Learning Matters
  1. Children retain 75% of what they do, compared to 5% of what they hear and 10% of what they learn
  2. Through experiential learning children get to know more about their interests, as well as understand the practical uses for subjects such as math, science, and other learning areas.
  3. Collaborative work through experiential learning builds social skills, and develops problem solving skills through challenges and mistakes. It also means the children feel more proud when they accomplish their goal.
Project Proposal
 My school, Westminster, has an after school program for the Primary School called After School Kids (ASK). The building is outdated and cramped, with limited space for activities and for the children to play. A new building is much needed, and would be a great way to incorporate experiential learning into the Westminster community. The intention is to encourage learning outside the classroom while still allowing children the choice of which activities they participate in through the After School Kids Building next to the Primary School.  Considering the wide age ranges of users, the design needs to include areas accessible and entertaining for ages 5 to 11, as well as include a working area for adults. The materials used should account for the weather, limited space, and child usage, as well as reflect the creative learning environment. Most importantly, the design should encourage the children to explore their curiosities and engage in learning after school.
Old After School Kids Building
Proposed New After School Kids Building
Front Perspective
Materials may include: Dry wall insulation, studs, drop ceiling with acoustic tiles, carpeting (flooring), plexiglass (for some of walls for more open room), wooden planks (flooring), tiles (for bathrooms), pipes, grout, electrical wires, overhead LED light trays, air conditioning/heating system, plumbing
Main Floor

Office: This will be the area where people enter, either to drop off or pick up children. The main desk area will sit here for the adults to do paperwork, and there will be a bench to sit on with cubbies underneath for the children to store their bags. With nice furniture, and big windows, this should be the friendly opening of the building.

Multipurpose room: This wide open space with some cabinets or cubbies along the wall for storage allows for versatility, and creativity in the room. The room could also include a folding divider to maximize use of space. The main point of this area is to allow children to have the space to try new clubs and activities, such as dance, yoga, drama, STEAM, and karate, which already exist in the ASK Program. Click Here for more on the benefits of letting children have more choices.

Kitchen: This can be used for cooking club, as well as a place for children to be fed snacks. Also could be used for the Green Thumb club to meet before going into the garden. This area offers lots of potential for experiential learning, from homemade science experiments in teams to basic cooking lessons to even having a competition of whose cupcakes are the best. Click Here for more on the benefits of cooking for children.

Top Floor

Music room: A room for kids to explore musically sounds, and play with beats, as well as a place for kids to explore through educational technology. The area can be used by the guitar club, coding club, and possibly the game on math club and traditional gaming club. A small, play “stage” could allow children to create their own shows, playing tones and notes. Click Here for more on the benefits of music for children

Library: A quiet place for kids to go and read or look at picture books. This area can also be a place for the comic club and enchanted adventures club to meet. This rooms is meant to be a quiet, comfy space for more a relaxing experience, and for the children to explore which books they might like. With some desks and chairs, children could also learn about the different parts of a story, and write their own, using pictures, and then reading them to each other. Click Here for more on the benefits of letting children choose their own books.

Arts and Crafts room: From paint to colored pencils to white board markers to Legos to building blocks and more, this room will have all kinds of creative activities for the kids to explore. This room could be used for the Crafts club and the Drawing/Doodling club, as well as for children to design and build with blocks, Legos, popsicle sticks, Play-Do, and more. Click Here for more on the benefits of doodling and Here for more on the benefits of building for children.

Game room: A room with board games and cards for the kids to play, especially on rainy days. It can also have math games for the Game on Math club and lots of chess boards for the Chess club. Activities like word bingo, connect four, or checkers could help the children develop language skills, and pattern recognition skills. Click Here for more on benefits of board games for children.

Bring Experiential Learning to Your Community!
Word Magnets Aquarium/Terrarium; Planting Boxes Build a Bookshelf
Cost 5-15$ 15-30$ 20-50$ 50-100$
Benefit Children can play with the words by creating poetry or sentences, and develop language skills Children can help build their own terrarium or aquarium and learn about the ecosystems Children can help grow new plants, and learn about the plants lifecycle and photosynthesis Children can help build this with adult supervision, and learn to cooperate with other through the project
DIY Link Word Magnets DIY Terrarium DIY Planting Boxes DIY Bookshelf DIY
Please do visit my Google Doc for information about the process of my final project.
References:

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COMMENTS: 4
  1. April 27, 2018 by Rachel Dauby

    Hi Taylor, your project looks fantastic all put together. I remember seeing it in design phases, and now that you’ve completed your sketch-up design, it looks fantastic and well done. Do you know how much the building would cost to build?

  2. April 28, 2018 by Taylor Boozer

    Hi Rachel! While the building’s cost is hard to estimate because of a lot of specifics of having a bigger building, a building that is about 6,000 square feet costs around $60,000. Thanks for visiting my cite!

  3. April 28, 2018 by Sydney Martin

    Taylor, I love your project! I agree, we definitely need a new building for after school, and I think experiential learning is a great idea that we could introduce there. Have you talked to any teachers about potentially doing this? I also like how you have lots of links for extra information, like your google doc and your pinterest page. I think those extra links and your videos about experiential learning are what set you apart, and I love it! Great job, Taylor.

  4. May 02, 2018 by Kailah Adams

    Hi Taylor, well done on your project! From what I can see, the current ASK building is incredibly small so I am curious as to how the space is used now. Also, I could certainly relate to your information regarding experiential learning and I am excited to see how well it has been incorporated into your project design. Overall, well done!

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