Project-Based Learning

Madison Middle Students Create Sustainable Transportation Routes in School Parking Lot
Posted on 05/24/2022
students working in class
Madison Middle School’s sixth-grade science classes have been working on a project-based learning activity to create sustainable transportation methods to meet the school’s safety needs. They partnered with the Civic Design Center under the Design Your Neighborhood program, which teaches youth how to problem-solve transportation and affordable housing issues in their neighborhood.

Through a partnership with the Civic Design Center and 3M’s School Safety Zone project, students learned how transportation design directly impacts the environment. Local architects from Tuck-Hinton Architecture, Smith Gee Studio and Bootstrap Architecture + Construction, along with city planners, helped students identify problem areas on the school grounds and how to create safe, sustainable solutions.

Once students identified problems and created ideas for solutions, they designed and painted bus lanes, bike lanes and crosswalks. They also made directional signage for cars and artwork to identify sidewalks.

“We were really excited about this project. The students were the ones who pointed out the safety issues, and it was exciting to see them identify the solutions, “said Andrea Pate, sixth-grade science teacher and STEAM lead at Madison Middle School. “The students didn’t believe their designs would be chosen, so it was great to see this project come to fruition.”

3M identified 100 schools across the country to support under the School Safety Zone project. In partnering with the Civic Design Center, four MNPS middle schools were selected – Madison, J.T. Moore, Rose Park and Jere Baxter.

“Through our science and STEAM project, students learned how transportation design impacts our choices for transportation. We understand that if we have spaces to safely walk and bike in our communities, we are more likely to make those safe choices,” said Melody Gibson, education director for the Civic Design Center.

Paint supplies and materials for the project were donated by 3M, Cherry Coatings construction company and a project-based learning grant through the Civic Design Center.
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