Teaching kids with architecture

Fri, 05/02/2014 - 13:39

As issues like climate change and pollution grow increasingly more common, preventative measures are being developed to halt the growing problems. With advancements in technology, people have the ability to do more than ever in creating an eco-friendly world where daily activities don't harm the environment. Innovations like radiant heating offer a more energy-efficient alternative to traditional methods of warming houses, but some people believe that the real way to protect the world of the future is through the education of children. Teaching kids about sustainability may be the best option for ensuring they don't repeat the mistakes of the past.

The Farming Kindergarten

Vo Trong Nghia Architects have built a prototype school in Dongnai, Vietnam, called the Farming Kindergarten. This uses the architecture of the building to teach students the importance of being sustainable and efficient, reported Inhabitat. The school is able to support 500 students and was designed to fully implement nature and interactive energy-saving features in their daily studies to make sure they learn the importance of taking care of the world.

The structure has a rising roof that gradually lifts off of the ground and turns to form three loops before sinking to the ground again, reported Dezeen Magazine. These loops form three small courtyards on ground level while the roof itself acts as a garden. The courtyards are protected, since they're surrounded by walls, allowing the kids to play in a safe environment. Beneath the roof is where the classrooms and other rooms are located.

Other technologies the Farming Kindergarten includes teaching children about sustainability are a solar water heater, water recycling equipment, natural ventilation and the widespread use of recycled materials. While the weather is far too warm in Vietnam for radiant heaters, other buildings inspired by the Farming Kindergarten would only benefit further from this energy-saving method.

Teaching children about sustainability

The main benefit to the long rooftop garden is the way it gives kids the ability to learn about farming and agriculture. At the Farming Kindergarten, students can learn how to grow their own food, as the allotted space will provide more than enough room to feed the 500 children. With warm temperatures year-round, kids can master the art of feeding themselves early on and learn what it means to be truly sustainable.

With so many outdoor spaces, students will have many chances to get out of the classrooms and enjoy the air and nature right outside. Living and learning so close to the environment they're studying to protect will help them appreciate their efforts. Teaching children so early on in their lives is the best way to introduce them to these green ideas. If the message sticks, they'll be able to incorporate them for the rest of their lives, making the biggest difference.

Instead of just putting a patch on a problem, the Farming Kindergarten creates a constructive learning experience with results that can be applied. The children that leave the school will do so with the tools and knowledge needed to create a more sustainable future. Instead of passing an idea on to them later in life, they will live and grow with it.