Agitecture After-School Initiative in Urbanism

The Problem

At a time of renewal and accelerating development in the city of Newark, Agitecture aims to place urban planning tools in the hands of the city’s high school students with an innovative after-school program. Through our program, fifteen to twenty underserved high school students from Newark's central ward are exposed to historical and contemporary practices of urban planning (including valuable technology skills) in a twice-weekly classroom setting. Our program derives its strength through weekly, hands-on projects that deal specifically with the city of Newark and the greater New York metropolitan area, in addition to local eminent speakers and fieldtrips to near-by sites. Agitecture's After-School Initiative engages students in the design process, builds problem solving skills, and provide students with an opportunity to effect positive change in the city of Newark, using tools and knowledge gained during the course to undertake a final project in April as a team: a full-scale project of their own design at an urban site. Our overall goals are to enhance students' environmental awareness, provide a basis for intellectual development and challenge our students to adopt new perspectives of the world in which they live. A grant from DoSomething.com and Plum TV would allow us to expand this program to literally provide new perspectives - a structured field-trip to the Panorama of New York City in the Queens Museum of Art. The Panorama is an incredibly detailed work of art, a 9,335sqft model of NYC in its entirety. Our trip would dovetail with a curriculum unit on the interconnectedness of cities - networks of transportation, communication, and public spaces. Grant monies would be used to provide roundtrip transportation for fifteen to twenty youth and four instructors from our site in Newark to Queens borough, admission to the Queens Museum of Art, fee for a guided tour of the Panorama, and project materials allowing students to construct their own three-dimensional model of city blocks. These large-scale models will then be displayed publicly to invite attention to these students' accomplishments.

Plan of Action

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