Over the past two years 3six0 Architecture has been participating in the mentor program of Providence’s Met school. The Met School, short for Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center, is a state-funded school district that serves 690 high school students. The school was created under the direction of Doctors Dennis Littky and Elliot Washor who were given the opportunity by the state of RI to create a “school of the 21st century” that would involve “hands and minds.” The Met is divided into six smaller schools, with four of them sharing a campus on Providence’s South Side. The schools are intentionally kept small at 120 students and the curriculum focuses on “Authentic Experiences”:
“Education research tells us schools need to be smaller, with more parent involvement and more personalized curricula. Brain Research shows people learn by making sense of information, by connecting things, and learning by real context. Learning theory asserts the value of hands-on experiences. Development psychology says kids are fragile and must be nurtured by adult mentors to thrive. Gang research tells young people need to feel a part of a culture, something larger than themselves. The Met incorporated all of these notions and opened its doors in the fall of 1996 with 50 freshman in the Shepherd Building in downtown Providence.” The Met School
Alejandra Vidal, Met school junior, interned at our office this past January to June. Brandee Lapisky, her Met advisor, introduced Alejandra to us when she expressed a desire to learn about green architecture practices. Alejandra and I decided to divide her internship into two parts, with the first part focusing on research into passive methods of heating, cooling and shading used in the design of structures to create comfortable environments and reduced dependence on energy. The second portion of the internship would be her own design proposal involving both a real client and a project that would be ultimately constructed.
The mentoring experience has proved to be a rewarding experience for both Alejandra and 3six0.
To learn more about the Met school or about becoming a mentor, visit: http://www.themetschool.org