Nearly 100 Grade 1/2 and 4/5 students at Marlborough School demonstrated great care for their community late last year by working to improve two of the 28 “catwalks” in the neighbourhood. These catwalks, or alleyways, provide shortcuts to many of the key places in the neighbourhood. In a CBE survey, students identified they were scared or worried on the way to and from school. As a way to combat this, classes worked with Sustainable Calgary and the Marlborough Community Association to plan for improvements and ensure our community knows All Are Welcome!
Using the design thinking process, students empathized with stakeholders such as neighbours, families, students, patrollers, our S4 officer and “people on wheels” to get a strong understanding of the problems our catwalks present. Next, they defined the problem and drafted potential solutions through a stage of ideation. They visited the space, sketched the layout, measured the dimensions and blueprinted their ideas.
From there students worked in teams to build prototypes of their ideal catwalks! Lights, garbage cans, hopscotch and artwork were all common themes in the completed prototypes. Students then walked through the test phase, seeking feedback from students and staff to improve their designs. In the end, components from our top three prototypes made the cut and were key features in the design process.
Neighbours on either side of both catwalks agreed to support our work in the spaces and loved the idea that students wanted to improve the neighbourhood at the same time. As you can see, the results are awesome! Here’s to a safe, and much more playful, walk to school! #MarlboroughIsAmazing!