We first learned about architect by reading library books about the job.
We talked about what makes the home. Shayla had a lot of hands on experience with this because we added an addition onto our home several years ago. In order to be able to financially do this, my husband and I did much of the work ourselves. She has seen first hand how the blocklayers laid the blocks for our crawlspace, and how the concrete is poured, how the framers make the walls of the house, how to wire a house, how to insulate a house, how to put up drywall, finish the drywall, then paint and add trim. She also seen how vinyl siding and roofing is done.
She has also seen and been a part of the maintenance of the house.
Look at Buildings and Spaces
When we go to town, we often talk about the different architectural qualities of buildings, including what time period the building was constructed according to its qualities.
We discuss differences in shapes, patterns, sizes, colors and materials. We visited several playgrounds and talked about how they are designed. Shayla decided that the playgrounds are designed nicely because of the plastic equipment and the mulch underneath. I told her when I was a small girl, our playground was not designed well at all. We had steel playground equipment that got very hot. You could easily get burnt. My playground was covered with rock, when you fell down, it hurt alot.
The Best Neighborhood
We discussed what makes a good neighborhood. What needs to be in a good neighborhood (doctors, dentists, stores, and library). We talked about how people would act in a good neighborhood (good, not do bad things).
Discovering the Strengths of Shapes
We did an activity from the Brownie handbook. It was an experiment using a piece of paper to see which design was the strongest.
Experiment 1: Put a penny on a flat sheet of paper. Hold paper by one edge in the air. Put penny on it. It falls off, so this is not a good design.
Experiment 2: Take sheet of paper and fold into fourths. It will look like a card. Put the coin on the corner of the folded paper. This should hold the coin. This is an example of a good design.
Experiment 3: Fold sheet of paper like a paper fan, curve the end. Put coin on the curved end - it should hold the coin.
Designing Space for Someone With Special Needs
First we read in the handbook what a "special need" is. It can be something you can see, like using a cane, walker or wheelchair. Or something you can't see like someone being blind, deaf, or having a learning disability.
Shayla has had a lot of real life experience with this, as well. Several family members have at one time or another required special equipment.
We discussed how some places might not work for people because they don't have sidewalks, doorways may not be wide enough, or the building may have stairs instead of ramps. We discussed how you should not leave anything lying around because a blind person or a person with special equipment (or anyone - especially in the middle of the night)could trip and fall and get hurt.
Ok, there was no extra activities for this badge in the book. It makes it way too boring with no activities. So, while bouncing on the trampoline, I thought of this. We used old food boxes to design buildings to make a town. Shayla played with the buildings on her "community" rug. She used little cars and people and even a lego playground with it.