Those of you who teach subjects such as Design & Technology and architecture might already have heard the name Arckit rippling down the school corridors. These award-winning model building kits launched in 2014, and have gained a massive following within the STEM community for teaching the basics of architecture and design in a way that is tailored to Primary and Secondary-level students.
The modular system, which uses no glue, encourages students to overcome design challenges and work collaboratively to build stunning architectural structures. The company even launched an Arckit Education Programme to bridge the gap between physical and digital design and to help teachers introduce architecture in the classroom. Now Arckit has gone one step further with a new Kickstarter campaign.
Arckit Cityscape and Masterplan
This month, Arckit raised over €30,000 on Kickstarter to launch a new kit aimed at a younger audience. Inspiring the next generation of budding designers, the ‘click and connect’ sets allow students to build their dream city from scratch. From developing suburban neighbourhoods to downtown skyscrapers, city parks to piazzas, now children of all ages can experience what it’s like to be a real architect or city planner.
The Cityscape kits come in traditional white or pastel colours and are ideal for encouraging creativity, teamwork and manual dexterity in younger children and Primary school environments. The Masterplan kits are professional-level, opening up even more building opportunities and providing a foundation for Secondary students to explore architecture in detail and integrate other technologies, such as 3D printing and CAD design.
STEM ambassadors and professionals (including ex-Gadget Show host Jason Bradbury, RIBA president Angela Brady OBE, and Ireland’s favourite architect and TV presenter, Dermot Bannon, to name a few) have praised Arckit for its educational benefits. Some makers are now using Arckit to tick almost every STEM box – such as Tech Age Kids, who recently documented their classroom experiments to add craft and technology elements including electronics and 3D-printed components.
How to use Arckit in the classroom
Arckit is used by schools and universities around the world as an easy way to bring STEM into the classroom. The Education Programme currently includes a 10-week modular course for Primary and Secondary school teachers using the original Arckit sets. The lessons cover fundamental architecture and design skills with modules on everything from design inspiration, planning, CAD design in Autodesk Revit and SketchUp, practical model building projects and final class presentations.
Following their success on Kickstarter, there is already a demand for an Arckit Cityscape and Masterplan course – expect to see these new kits in the classroom soon. Visit www.arckit.com or contact [email protected] to find out more about how your students can roll up their sleeves and begin building their own model structures and cities with Arckit.