Supporting school STEM initiatives to teach “physical design”

Arckit builds on reputation as an educational modelling system by supporting school STEM initiatives to teach “physical design” and encourage children to develop practical skills.

Our December Harrods launch was a huge success. As well as allowing us to show off a collection of fantastic models, it was also the perfect opportunity for people to get hands on with the Arckit system and physically design their own architectural models. Arckit is currently included as part of design and architecture curriculums at several schools and universities around the world, so we were delighted by the level of interest from teachers wanting to use Arckit to teach STEM skills.

So what is STEM? Well, the UK and U.S. has a shortage of professionals in industries such as science and engineering, so the aim of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) is to promote initiatives in schools, such as practical workshops and design challenges, that inspire students and teach them real-world applications of skills that increase their future career opportunities. And, as a “physical design” tool, schools have been quick to pick up on Arckit.

Teachers at Sacred Heart School in the U.S. are now using Arckit as part of their STEM initiative in their first year engineering class, introducing students to the design process through a series of builds. A teacher at the school told us: “I am incredibly excited about the prospect of my students using Arckit to design their spaces … There are no other products like it! Given the recent initiative towards STEM, I anticipate that Arckit will become increasingly popular with schools in the U.S.!”

As the Sacred Heart School doesn’t have a wood or metal shop, they were previously limited to building with disposable, aesthetically displeasing materials such as foam core or cardboard. To remove the difficulties of cut and glue model making, the school invested in Arckit as a reusable scaled model system for a course unit on construction materials that tasks students with designing a prototype building that efficiently utilises space and energy. Arckit was the perfect solution!

As well as being a new way to physically design – allowing students to imagine it and build it, right there and then – they can even explore the use of materials and finish their models in realistic surface textures and building material patterns. So could Arckit become an essential tool for other STEM initiatives, inspiring students to develop creativity, problem-solving and technical skills?

Based on the feedback we have received from both teachers and students, we believe that Arckit is a fun and educational way for architecture students to learn the building blocks of successful architectural design, spatial awareness, and building material choices. Arckit’s popularity as an educational tool (as well as the enthusiasm we received at Harrods from budding architects as young as 8 years old!) has inspired us to develop a brand new Arckit product designed to introduce children to the basic principles of architecture and physical design in a fun and engaging way.

More info on our new product launch coming soon!

Are you a teacher or student interested in finding out more about how Arckit can be used as part of your STEM initiative? Please contact us or share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.