Kitchener-Waterloo

UW students to pitch playground designs to elementary students

Students at Keatsway Public School in Waterloo will choose the look of their new playground, which is being designed by engineering students at the University of Waterloo.

Keatsway Public students will be presented with 10 ideas Tuesday

University of Waterloo civil engineering students will pitch designs for a playground structure scheduled to be built at Keatsway Public School. (google maps)

Students at Keatsway Public School in Waterloo have the unique opportunity of choosing their next playground designed specifically for them.

The playground structure is being designed by first year civil engineering students at the University of Waterloo.

At a student assembly Tuesday afternoon, the elementary students will be presented with pitches for 10 playgrounds and they must cut that list down to a top three.  

Rania Al-Hammoud, a civil and environmental engineering lecturer at UW, came up with the idea for the community based project which gives her students a real-life opportunity to meet and discuss projects with stakeholders.

"The key thing about this is the feedback and how to understand your end users and your stakeholders," Al-Hammoud said.

"They went to meet with the [Keatsway] students for the first visit to get feedback ... and when they got the feedback ... they said, 'Oh we got ideas that we wouldn't have thought of in a million years.'"

UW students also had to meet requirements from the school board to build a 360 square metre structure with a budget of $75,000.

As well, Al-Hammoud added an extra challenge and asked her students to come up with items that incorporated a physical and mental challenge.

The winning design will be chosen at a school event in June and is scheduled to be built in the 2018 school year.  

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