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College of Environment and Design

CED Hosts Local 10th-Graders as Part of Experience UGA

Recently, the University of Georgia College of Environment and Design hosted local 10th-graders from the Clarke County School District as part of Experience UGA!

Approximately 400 local 10th-graders participated in hands-on learning activities at the CED that challenged students and taught aspects of landscape architecture, historic preservation and design.

“Each school and college at UGA plays its part in being able to show kids living on just the other side of campus that post-secondary education is available and perhaps an opportunity for them,” said Jennifer Lewis, Director of the CED’s Center for Community Design and Preservation. Lewis has led Experience UGA at the CED since 2018.

As part of this year’s program, CED student volunteers took Clarke County students on a tour of the Jackson Street Building, where they toured studio spaces and learned what a typical day is like for landscape architecture students.

“What’s so great about these Experience UGA field trips is that our role is to be the champions and mentors,” said Lewis. “And what makes our trips so successful is that they are led by student volunteers.”

And with student volunteers present throughout the entire field trip, Clarke County students were able to have a more relatable learning experience.

“High school students want to hear from people who are just a little bit older than they are and who were recently in their shoes,” said Lewis. “So that’s why it’s really important for our students to take on this leadership role.”

At the Main Library, CED student volunteers led lessons in 2D hand graphics and taught local students how to draw typical plan view elements such as cars, different types of trees and water features. Learning the basics of hand graphics allowed Clarke County students to undertake a design project close to home.

“We have students redesign a part of their own high school campus,” said Lewis. “They work individually with a base map of a courtyard from their school, which is an aerial photograph, and then they work collaboratively on a final design plan.”

In addition, CED students led skits, which provided Clarke County students with a fun way of learning more about the CED’s degree programs.

“There was a Barbie skit based on the recent, trendy movie that focused on all the things that Barbie can be,” said Lewis. “In the skit, we had two CED student volunteers who represented our historic preservation and landscape architecture programs.”

The final part of the program was a North Campus Walk, which allowed Clarke County students to explore designed spaces on UGA’s historic North Campus. Students visited various landmarks and explored how specific locations influence people’s perceptions of space. The walk included a tour of the Founders Memorial Garden, where Clarke County students learned about different plants in bloom, the history of the garden, and the CED’s historic preservation program.

A CED volunteer reflected on their experience as a student leader and the importance of the program: “Reaching people at a young age is so important in their considerations for their career and future and giving them insight into the opportunity to pursue art in a manner that is academically driven is important.”

Experience UGA is a partnership between the Clarke County School District and the UGA Office of Service Learning whose goal is to bring every PreK-12 student to UGA’s campus. The CED’s outreach unit, the Center for Community Design and Preservation, played an integral role in organizing this year’s program.

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