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UPDATE: Students finish strong in international “school of the future” contest

School of the Future Design Contest
Update: The student team has finished as runner-ups in the competition, held earlier Oct. 4-5 in Portland, Ore. Congratulations to these inventive young students on their success! 
 
Six standout students have an ambitious vision for designing a school of the future, and their work has earned them an international stage. 
 
The team members, who started their project last year as eighth-graders at Sutter Middle School, will compete in October in the international finals of the School of the Future Design Contest. They advanced after taking first place in the regional competition earlier this year. 
 
For their futuristic design, called the “Bouwan School,” students Spencer Goles, Jake Heminway, Nestor Iwanojko, Drew Kiesow, Jonathan Russell (now students at Folsom High School) and Justin Riggins created what they called an ideal learning environment: 
 
“We wanted to create a school that gave students opportunities,” Kiesow said.
 
Bouwan School would offer students flexibility and preparation to create their own personalized college or career pathways. School facilities would contain simulation rooms, where students would apply what they’ve learned to build their own community projects.
 
Bouwan’s campus would contain a boarding school to create a stable living environment for homeless students. The campus also would be eco-friendly, with solar-powered artificial trees,  bicycle ports, and rooftop gardens to supply food for both campus and the community.
 
The team, guided by teacher Debra Krikourian, worked six to seven hours a week write a project narrative, create a prototype, and present their project to the judges. Along the way, they got the chance to consult professionals in the field, including local architects and designers from the Sacramento office of Rainforth Grau. The team also surveyed the community to receive suggestions on how to operate and design the school. 
 
“This is part of the educational process, bringing real-life problems into the classroom and taking them through the design process to create viable solutions,” Krikourian said. 
 
Krikourian said the School of the Future contest should be considered by students who are interested in architecture, civil engineering, interior design, artistic expression, and the community’s future.
 
“Competition always changes the dynamics of a classroom,” she said. “It allows students to take control of their own destiny and learning.”
 
Click here to learn more about School of the Future Design Contest.
 
 
Pooja Prazid, Public Relations Intern
pprazid@fcusd.org
(916) 294-9000 ext. 104570