Young visionaries, start dreaming about the 'Classroom of the Future'
In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Seattle World's Fair, students from grades K to 12 are encouraged to submit their depictions of the "Classroom of the Future."
Seattle Times staff reporter
Help design the "Classroom of the Future"Open to Washington students from kindergarten through high school, individually or in groups. It's not a contest; entrees will be used in a display at Seattle Center in August.
Deadline to register: April 30
Deadline to submit entries: June 1
More information: www.thenextfifty.org/classroomfuture
For more about "The Next Fifty" events: www.SeattleCenter.com
Imagine a school where students had the option of going not just to a playground at recess but to a swimming pool, bowling alley, wind tunnel or "anti-gravity floor."
Or what about one where a mouse, running in a wheel in its cage, produced enough electricity to make popcorn for everyone?
Or maybe a school where students who do well are rewarded with "extraordinary field trips to space?"
Don't look for those schools in your neighborhood just yet. For the time being, they exist in young imaginations around Washington state, as the League of Education Voters learned when it recently invited students to describe their dream school.
And now, with the 50th anniversary of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair at hand, another call is going out to young visionaries, in the hopes of gathering a wealth of innovative ideas about the "Classroom of the Future."
The goal is to display their ideas in an exhibition at Seattle Center in August, dedicated as "learning month" during the six-month celebration of the fair's anniversary, which begins Saturday.
"We hope our young people think big and help expand and challenge the current conversation about education reform," said Pete Rush, a Seattle Center program manager.
A group called The Next Fifty is coordinating this and other fair-anniversary celebrations, and has a full slate of activities on tap at Seattle Center on Saturday.
In the "Classroom of the Future" event, participants are asked to describe how, what and where students will learn 50 years from now.
Submissions may be written or take the form of a model, art project, video or other creative medium. Entrants may work alone, as part of a group or even collaborate with an adult.
This is not a contest, Rush said. There aren't any prizes. But organizers hope the submissions will have an impact, generating attention and fostering discussion of new ideas.
Professionals in education, technology, architecture, art and design will curate the submissions to depict common themes.
Each entrant will receive a certificate and will likely be acknowledged in some way, but some will get more space and attention than others, Rush said.
Participants are asked to register by the end of April and submit entries by June 1.
The "Classroom of the Future" effort is separate from, but similar to, the League of Education Voters' earlier call for students to depict "My Dream School."
It was the dream-school event that sparked the proposal of anti-gravity recess from fifth-grader Johnny Satterlee of Seattle's Academy for Precision Learning, the mouse-driven popcorn idea from first-grader Asha Reichenbach of Greenwood Elementary, and the space-bound field-trip suggestion from fourth-grader Ashritha Aroun at Woodinville's Bear Creek Elementary.
Those entries may be viewed on the Web at www.educationvoters.org/dream.
Some of the "dream school" submissions may be incorporated into the August display, Rush said.
Jack Broom: 206-464-2222 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Information in this article, originally published April 16, 2012, was corrected April 17, 2012. A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Asha Reichenbach is a sixth-grader at Greenwood Elementary. She is in first grade.