Potential SchoolsNEXT Design Competition Activities

Create an event in your community! Some suggestions are listed below:

  • Stage an architectural design competition, challenging students to create projects demonstrating their "ideal learning environment."

  • Contact a college or university to obtain assistance from one or more professors, graduate and/or undergraduate students in the departments of architecture, education, planning, urban planning or other related fields (or a combination of departmental representatives) to work with students on SchoolsNEXT Design Competition projects.

  • Contact local or regional environmental or preservation groups and other community leaders to engage speakers, advisors, and/or mentors to work with students on SchoolsNEXT Design Competition projects.

  • Contact a nearby museum to arrange for an exhibit of SchoolsNEXT Design Competition student projects and/or an exhibit of the history of public schools in the community and how they have developed over time.

  • Contact local and/or regional newspaper, radio and television representatives in advance of the activities to obtain publicity and recognition for the work and efforts of the students and others who supported the SchoolsNEXT Design Competition activities. Follow up with phone calls after you have sent press releases to the media.

  • Invite a local architect or engineer, perhaps a graduate of your school, to present on a school building topic, emphasizing the importance of the planning and design process.

  • Sponsor a district-wide poster contest for SchoolsNEXT Design Competition. The winning poster can be printed in one of the schools and disbursed to community professional offices and businesses for display.

  • Conduct a needs assessment survey of your local school. Involve PTA, local community members, local professional and business leaders as well as legislators in improvement projects.

  • Encourage students to invite local and state legislators to participate and/or sponsor activities in your area.

  • Research the history of your school. Create a multi-disciplinary age-appropriate lesson plan for students, teachers, parents and community members. Ascertain age of school, original design team members, initial costs, additions or renovations, changes in usage of space.

  • Organize a bus trip for community members and the media to visit district schools, demonstrating the need for improvements and renovation.

  • Conduct a school safety audit. Involve students in creating a safe, secure and healthy environment.

  • Improve the school playground and outdoor environment. Conduct a safety audit of playing areas and fields. Involve the community in improving these areas. Invite a local nursery to donate plants, flowers, or trees.

  • Save the Earth! Stage a school-wide energy fair. Encourage students to create projects demonstrating ways to save energy and protect our national resources.

  • Design a website! Post SchoolsNEXT Design Competition information, school policies and procedures, calendar of events and volunteer opportunities.

  • Encourage community use of your facility! Provide community meeting space. Partner with local community colleges to provide classrooms for evening courses. Schedule time for community access to school computer labs and media centers.

  • Celebrate your local community's cultural heritage(s). Create projects to research and study local cultural heritage(s) encouraging students to implement ways to highlight this legacy in their school building.

  • Plan a Saturday School Improvement Day and engage students and community members to paint, plant, patch; scour, scrub, shine; devise, donate and discover! Experience your school!

  • Celebrate! Invite the community to a birthday party for your school.