Humphreys & Partners Construction Liaison, Nellie Montgomery, recently spent a work day out of the office with 135 third graders at John Quincy Adams Elementary. She shared the experience of working in architecture going classroom to classroom with renderings of Humphreys projects, including Big Houses and high-rises, and a unique, hands-on construction project.
Nellie began with the traditional challenge: build the highest structure using only dry spaghetti noodles and mini marshmallows. She soon found that third graders appreciate more freedom in design and removed the restraints of height and stability. “That’s when the creativity really started,” she said.
From a traditional four-bedroom home with a swimming pool in the backyard to a collapsing tower-turned-webbed-space dubbed “The Spider Web,” the students’ imaginations took over, creating complex spaces complete with spatial and urban planning. Students took Nellie on home tours of their designs, bringing her into the vision of how an inhabitant would travel from one room to another and what each room would be used for.
Third graders have an innocence about them that allows them to think outside of the box of architecture as we know it
“Third graders have an innocence about them that allows them to think outside of the box of architecture as we know it,” Nellie said. “It reminded me that when we look at things in a different way, from a different angle, we get really creative and unique design.”
Nellie along with Humphreys & Partners is excited to foster the next generation of architects and designers. “I hope they realize how important they are,” she said, “and that if they put in the work and listen, they really can do whatever they want to do.”