1. by Brandon Baunach AIA, Project Architect

At MKThink, one of our strengths is the ability to explore curricular opportunities in our buildings’ designs for our K-12 private education clients. We’re often asked what is our basis of design and what references do we use for our inspiration when we design a building as a teaching tool. As one might expect, there are too many inspirations to list, but a great place to start this focus is through the following online resources:

  1. Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse A great repository of lesson plans categorized into four age groups and six areas of study. Many of the lessons include full descriptions on how to implement the lessons, talking points, reference materials, and worksheets<p></p>
  2. Construction and Trade Lesson Plans A superb list of links to lesson plans involving buildings and construction. Although the site is not well maintained, the topics covered create a diverse resource of learning opportunities in the areas of carpentry, electricity, general science, plumbing, air conditioning, masonry, and metal fabrication.
  3. National Clearinghouse for Education Facilities – BATT Although the funding for this website was recently lost, the quality of the resource list is incredible.
  4. NCEF – Outdoor Learning List Although the funding for this website was recently lost, the quality of the resource list is incredible.
  5. Green Schools Initiative Resource for creating sustainable schools.
  6. Project Learning Tree “The Cornerstone for Environmental Education” has a fantastic list of Curricular materials of very high quality.
  7. Engaging Places Teacher Resources This UK based, environmentally focused, teacher resource is a beautiful and compelling location to start our quest to build a curriculum around your school. Engaging Places not only divide their teacher resources into eight distinct categories, but also offer specific lesson plans and activities to build from.
  8. Sidwell Friends School The Sidwell Friends School is an exemplary school that integrates environmental stewardship into their curriculum. As well as being a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School, Sidwell Friends is a founding member of the Green Schools Alliance.