Growing Our Place: Beecher High School Outdoor Classroom Project

Client Organization: 
UM-Flint Office of University Outreach
Project Location : 
Flint, MI
Summary of Project Idea: 

The master's project team worked with Discovering PLACE, a collective of Flint-area K-12 schools, University of Michigan-Flint faculty and staff, community organizations, and parents; and Beecher High School, a Flint public school, to design a place-based outdoor classroom at Beecher, and develop an implementation plan, best practices guide, and corresponding curriculum.  The overarching goal of the project is to strengthen the presence of place-based education at Beecher High School, and to document the process of implementing the project so that the experience can be used as a framework for other schools interested in incorporating place-based education into their own educational practices.

The project was designed to engage the school community in an ongoing dialogue about food and environmental justice that supports students' academic and social skill development.  Discovering PLACE and Beecher High School needed assistance in researching and planning an outdoor classroom on the school grounds, organizing and implementing a series of participatory student and teacher design charrettes, and researching and developing a best-practices guide and place-based curriculum series for middle and high school students.

SEAS Program Areas: 
Behavior, Education, and Communication
Landscape Architecture
SEAS Faculty Advisor: 
Michaela Zint
Master Students Involved in Project: 
  • Lindsay Bienick, MS Behavior, Education and Communication
  • Pri Ekanayake, MS Behavior, Education and Communication
  • Erin Mette, MS Behavior, Education and Communication
  • Erin-Amanda Schulz, MLA
Project Status: 
Past Project