Introduction: Brainstorming Bus Shelter Designs With Slot Building Cards

About: I am an artist and arts educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Students collaboratively build physical brainstorming models of bus shelters using blank index cards which they convert into slot building cards. The Slot Shelters model building workshop lesson invites elementary students to envision multipurpose bus shelters using simple materials. This project is an introduction to brainstorming collaboratively and to exploring shelter designs addressing local community and environmental needs. Using slot cards, students collaborate in building prototypes of bus shelters. Students cut index cards and collaborate in teams to make these card models. Students write how their built-structures address community needs. This is a hands-on lead in exercise to prepare students for volume rendering sessions in Google SketchUp.

Step 1: Step 1

Gather materials:
scissors, pencils, tape, connector cards printed on card stock (see pdf), cardboard cut into rectangles or blank white index cards.
Prep: bundle 6 index cards for each student. Cut slots into one card on each stack. Students will cut the rest of the slots on the other cards by using the first card as a guide. Also, create little silhouette people that will be used to indicate the scale of the models.

Step 2: Step 2

Students cut out connector cards and discuss other community needs bus shelters can address. Students begin to assemble their structures in teams as they explore how the various connector shapes create different angles and support.

Step 3: Step 3

Students write collaborative statements explaining how their bus shelter design addresses a community or environmental need. These statements are written on an index card and placed in front of the accompanying model. Students walk around the room to see other designs. Teacher photographs student designs and statements and share to either a picasa album or flickr and share with the Slot Shelters site.

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