Contribute an activity

Parents everywhere are struggling with home education. Even with schools gradually reopening, it’s clear that many children and young people will be stuck learning and playing from home for months to come.

I had the privilege of being home educated for 16 years and know that the it can be a fantastic thing, but home education’s success depends on parents having access to high-quality creative activities to tackle with their children. Creating good educational resources that explore facts and principles through tactile activities with accessible instructions is an art. Not everybody can write a clear set of steps to build an operational trebuchet from egg boxes or build a two-metre tower from spaghetti and marshmallows! 

STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) including architecture and design are particularly hard for parents to tackle at home without specialist knowledge. Nobody knows how long the lockdown will last but it could be many more months with the possibility of a second wave looming in the background. I believe, therefore, that we have an opportunity to really help children and their families stuck at home by making and sharing an array of ambitious creative design-based educational activities. Some organisations have released some activities for home education already but some would argue they are too few ande not engaging or varied enough to truly support created education from home.

So what do we do? Well, we’ve just launched a new architecture and design learning activities website. You can see a good example of an activity created by EDIT Collective on the new site here. The idea is to share design and architecture-themed learning activities explicitly made to help parents out at this crazy time and would like to invite you or your practice to create one.

We will then use the Open City mailing list to get it out to a wide network of teachers, boroughs, parents and families and include info and links back to your work, helping promote your wider practice and get the activity you created to the people who need it.

To take up the call, we would need the following in a Google document:
— Instructions for an activity described in simple steps suitable for attempting at home.
— A list of resources needed, ideally ordinary household goods or things which can be got from nature.
— A lead photograph or image to go with your activity.
— Ideally, some little images showing certain steps in the process.
— An age range that the activity is suitable for (e.g. 4-12 or 13+ etc) and an estimate of how long it will take.
— A photo or logo representing your wider work and a link to where people can find out more with and a paragraph of text (see EDIT’s activity for an example).

To take up the call, please email stating that you’d like to contribute including a date for when you’ll be sending your activity so we can plan ahead for it.

Thank you.

Phineas Harper
Director of Open City