Redefining an Educational Landscape
Teacher Earth is a redesign project for Helen Hunt Jackson Elementary School,
based in Southern California. JES is one of two schools--in a district that serves almost
forty thousand students-- that offers a special needs preschool program. The original
campus had to be expanded for this use, and portable classrooms and a few pieces
of play equipment were put in to meet the basic needs of the program. Therein lies the
problem. Basic needs are not enough, and the add on feels like an afterthought. In order to drastically improve the educational
experience of both staff and students at the school, a redesign is necessary.
My intention with this redesign project is to create a design that prioritizes equity
in education, brings student learning into the outdoor environment, and creates an
overall more sustainable campus for future generations to enjoy. My moonshot goal for
this project is to use it as a template for creating a set of design
standards that can be implemented and adapted for other schools facing similar
problems. Students and teachers deserve the best possible learning environment, and
not everything can be learned in a classroom.