I am an instructor who teaches architecture in our community college in Columbia SC. On Friday afternoons, I go to the Barclay School at Magnolia Manor and teach their students art. This is a school of 20 kids who all have different types of special needs (some children are on the downs spectrum and others just have had difficultly learning in a traditional environment). Last year the school got to move to a farm. The students are now able to be outside, learn science at the creek, and grow their own food. The changes in these children have been tremendous.
I was wondering if by any chance that you could donate a kit to a school? For these students to have an outdoor "room" that they could use as a greenhouse and a 'quiet" area would be tremendous. For them to be able to say they built that room and to be able to take parent and visitors through it and talk about what an architect is, geometry, Buckminster Fuller would be a once in a lifetime experience. To be able to sit in something that they built will change them.
I learned how different these kids are last year. My architecture students build models and I was throwing the old ones away. On a whim, I decided to change the art class to an architecture class one Friday afternoon. We talked about town planning, designing, why buildings are the way there are, etc. I gave a building to each student and told them that they can design their building for their town. Since that day, they used that experience to write a book about their town. Each student (no matter how their challenging their disability is) got to paint and add to their piece of architecture. They also created a story about each of the buildings. The drew pictures of each of their buildings. One of the older students created a story in which the main character comes to the Barclay Town and discovers how unique each building is and how she is accepted into each establishment no matter what. The book is in the middle of editing and soon will be published.
These kids are just amazing, the school does such an incredible job on such a small budget and small scale. Because of their experiences, they have so many more possibilities than they ever did before. They can handle (with my help and education) this type of construction and every day they will be able to see it and show them how they can do even more.
They are a non-profit. In addition, the farm that they are located also does music events on the weekends where people camp and stay. We could advertise for the dome, the local papers will be doing articles on this as well so it would generate sales for you all. They would be happy with a returned kit that may need some love and care.
I have attached pictures of some of the students. Puppies were born on the farm and one of their jobs is to socialize them. The group shot is them coming to see my studio. The middle one is the graduation shot of Carl. Who definitely will come back to help on this structure.
Thanks for you consideration. There website is http://thebarclayschool.org/
Thank you SO SO much. You do not realize how much this will influence and touch these children's lives.
I will get started on our side. I am going to incorporate learning about different structures, etc. My architecture students have actually built some models using geodesic domes and so this is where we will start. for them to see as case studies. The kids will be able to measure and cut which is a great exercise for them. I am also going to have them paint their own pole so as we build the dome they will be able to find their pole in the design.
I will let you know when we get that process. done. They have off next Friday so we will begin the following Friday and I will send you an email when we are ready for the hubs. One question for you, looking at the website would there be anyway to get the silo dome hub kit? That just gives us some more room on the inside to put a couple of growing tables but use the rest for outdoor classroom. If not I can increase the size from 16 ft to 20 ft with the other kit still using the same hubs correct?
Again, thank you. I will be sure to send pictures and progress along the way. If you would like anything from us let us know. I know that this will make our local paper and I will try my hardest to have the TV station out as well.
Just following up with you. We were so fortunate to get our plastic donated and the kids are cutting pvc pipe tomorrow. The following week each student gets to paint their own tube so they can show it off in the construction of the dome. Then on the 7th we plan to build the dome. I will send you pictures of our progress. The students built a paper dome so they could see what it will look like. I took your advice and decided to stay with the standard dome but they do want to do the 20 foot dome.
I will send you pictures when we get the pieces cut tomorrow!
Just wanted to share some pictures with you of the kids cutting the pieces for the dome. They are loving it. We are cutting the rest on Friday. I don't know if I ever gave you the mailing information or not for the kit. Question for you....do the Zip ties come with it or do we need to get them? If so what size works best.
Thanks so much. You can see the ones that got to work on the dome really enjoyed it. Feel free to use these pictures as we go along. I will send you more.
The school address is:
Barclay School at Magnolia Farms
631 Longtown Road
Ridgeway, sc 29130
Hope you had a great weekend.
The school and the kids are in the process of writing you a wonderful thank you letter and pictures but I just wanted to send to you some pictures of the erection of the dome. Between school schedules, my real job schedule, and life we did not get to erect it until last week.
The kids drilled the holes in the pipe, figured out how to place things together, redrilled the holes when they were too far apart, and the ones that couldn't all decorated some more and on it and drew up a storm. When ti was time to put the plastic up, I made sure all 22 kids all had a part in it from the ladder to holding the plastic as we put it over the top. The cheers and excitement and high fives were awesome. I think one parent took a video but I haven't seen it yet. The felt circles gave it some color but also when we pulled the plastic over protected it some. Some joints the center ring isn't perfect but they aren't going anywhere.
I have a folk art garden and am going to take their leftover pipe and put a small one in my garden on a bottle wall (I already have a bottle house in the garden). Again thank you so much. As always this teacher learned as much as the kids did. But the amount of teamwork and the sense of accomplishment that the kids got was awesome. One girl (who is an excellent writer and she is pictured at the top of the dome ) wrote that "I never thought I could build a dome but this is what happens when you get a plan and a great art teacher." Another child Ethan, walked out and was somewhat timid to come up to it at first. He was afraid to stand under it. I got him in the dome and I told him see it is just math. He looked at it and as he walked away said, "wow. that is math."
I hope you have a wonderful holiday!