Learning About Chicago Architecture

By the Integrated Learning and Information Science Department
Third graders spent several months learning about Chicago architecture. Students read about Frank Lloyd Wright and his unique design style and looked at images of Wright’s buildings around Chicago, as well as unique architecture they learned about in their neighborhood study. We talked about how Chicago is famous for its architecture and continues to build and add new designs.

Third graders explored the Chicago Architecture Foundation database and different types of buildings in Chicago. They looked at homes, businesses, parks, museums and more.

Next, students picked one building they wanted to learn more about. From the Chicago Architecture Foundation database, they collected three interesting facts about the building, park or space. Next, students found pictures of their space.

Students learned how to create a Google website., which they built to include the facts and photos they collected about their Chicago space.

3D Design
Students then learned how to use the Tinkercad 3D design software, including moving and changing shapes and drawing and editing designs in 3D. Next, they revisited pictures of their Chicago space and thought about how to represent it in a 3D model.

Third graders spent time designing and editing their creation. Then, we printed them on the 3D printers in the TIDES Garage in the Kovler Family Library space.

Bringing Their 3D Designs to Life
The final step was to connect their 3D designs and their curated websites with cool technology!

Students’ websites were connected to an NFC tag, a small microchip that can be read by different mobile devices. The URLs were written onto the NFCs, and the tag was placed at the bottom of the 3D print. All of the prints were displayed in the library next to the Ideum touchscreen computer and an NFC reader. Visitors and other students in the library picked a 3D design and placed it on the NFC reader, which caused the student's website to pop up on the large computer screen.

Students brought their 3D prints home. Grown-ups at home can use their smartphones to tap the NFC tag to the phone, and the website will pop up.

Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.