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The ‘People’ have spoken, and the winner is … Indian Hill Primary School!

IHPS People's Choice Winners

Four months.

That is how long Indian Hill Primary School (IHPS) students worked – cardboard, glue, string, and tape in hand – on the construction. Their creations were part of the Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati’s Design LAB city-wide architecture competition.

“This was no small task,” said IHPS teacher Monica Dawkins. “We worked from January through April with a professional architect, Andy Harte, visiting our class every other week to help guide the students and to teach them about the principles of architecture.”

According to their website, Design LAB is a project-based K-12 education program tailored to broaden and deepen student awareness, appreciation, and active participation in natural and built environments. Indian Hill Primary School embedded the lesson into the school’s Discovery program – a learning experience that encourages individual exploration, critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity in a setting where ideas are exchanged between gifted students. Students produced six projects designed entirely out of recyclable materials, and were allowed to submit one into the competition.  

“We opened up voting to the entire staff at Indian Hill Primary School to vote on which project they felt had the best overall design,” said Dawkins. “The winning project was the play-space titled Nature Water Park.”

The IHPS submission was set up as part of a display at Cincinnati’s main library branch downtown where all visitors had the opportunity to vote; the submission won the People’s Choice Award.

“According to the program director, there were approximately 800 people who came through to view the projects during the week of April 27 through May 4,” said Dawkins. “An additional 300 people attended the official Design LAB Exhibit Reception. We are so excited for our students. This was a wonderful learning experience for the entire class, and bringing home the People’s Choice Award was thrilling for our Braves.”

The winning IHPS second-grade team included students: Blake Farrell, Brooklyn Gottlieb, Darcy McMahon, Arya Murphy, and Oliver Netherwood.

Photo captions: Indian Hill Primary School students Blake Farrell, Brooklyn Gottlieb, Arya Murphy, Darcy McMahon, and Oliver Netherwood stand with the People’s Choice Award-winning architecture design.