For the Hawthorne Elementary PTA, the acre-plus of asphalt comprising it playground was an opportunity missed during the years of investment by teachers, staff and parents to turn-around this Title 1 “High Poverty School.” The PTA tasked Convene PLLC to utilize a re-visioning of the playground as an opportunity expand the school’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) learning mission, and cultivate an inclusive community amongst the parents and neighbors of this third most diverse school in Washington State.
With project partner Jason Medeiros of Outdoor Classroom Design, over 400 students have taken part in STEAM project based learning activities including site mapping and studying storm water. An adventure play-date pop-up implemented by Portland FreePlay demonstrated the value of loose-parts play.
The playground design weaves together, loose-parts play, native plants, stormwater capture, and more to create a space for continuing education and creative play. With the completion of the loose parts playspace in Phase 1 (Fall 2019)m Hawthorne has become one of the first public elementary schools in the country to embrace loose parts play on their playground. Phase 2 of work is schedule for Summer of 2020.
Fivedot (Co-Design/Project Management), Outdoor Classroom Design (Co-Design/Teaching), Earthplay (Design), Herrera (Civil Engineer)