This project was called the "Student Driven Campus Design" project. This project was all about letting students take control and letting them design the new school. At the start of this project we started doing empathy interviews. These are interviews in which we talked to people about what they like/dislike about rooms and what they would like to see in the new school, so in other words we empathized with them. Then with that feedback we started designing things we wanted in rooms and prototyping. Our group mainly focused on the parking lot and the shared spaces. Once we were done prototyping we started actually started designing the whole school which we would later make on Sketchup and make a budget for. We are the first set of students in (possibly) the nation to ever do this project. At the end of the project we presented our posters to two board of directors that looked over our ideas for the new school. This project taught me a lot of things, but the one that really stood out to me was the learning about sustainable building materials. For example how different things outside can absorb different amounts of heat which is bad for the environment. I learned that asphalt is the worst type of material because it is dark and absorbs the most amount of heat. I also learned about how important measurements are for a parking lot. For our group, since we focused on the parking lot, we needed everything to be precise since parking lots are very square and perfect. When I was working on what type of material we were going to use for the roofs of the parking lots we were thinking something like solar panels so that they would provide shade for the parked cars and also collect electricity for the school. After that we researched other materials we could use just in case the solar panels costed too much. During this project I feel like I have grown as a collaborator. I learned how easy it is to fall out of the group but I also know what I have to do when I need to advocate for myself and get more involved in the project. The most difficult part of this project for me was at the beginning of the project when we had a giant checklist we needed to complete. I felt like that caused a lot of stress for me because there was a bunch of little things we had to do that were connected to the big parts of the checklist. If I could change one thing I did while working on the project it would be how I wasn't involved as much as I could have been throughout the project, especially at the beginning. I have grown as a collaborator through this project by learning how to work with a group of people in general, but also that I didn't know that well. During this project I was more of a follower instead of a leader, so I just kind of did what I was told to do. I personally do think that it is important for the students to have a strong voice in what their schools look like. I think this because that's where the students or going to be for 7 hours a day, five days a week, 10 out of 12 months of the year, for 12+ years of their lives. If they are going to spent that much time in a building or a few, then they should have a say in what they look like. I also think that if the students are comfortable in the environment they will be able to work better. Schools are usually designed by the same people who design prisons so I think that if the students start designing the schools everyone would be much more pleased with their work spaces.
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