UVA Learning Barge

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The Learning Barge is a project of Professor Phoebe Crisman and the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Architecture. It was built with a similar process as the MoCoLab, utilizing architecture students to design and construct the barge for community/university engagement and children’s education about the environment and ecosystems of the Chesapake Bay and the Elizabeth River.

From the website:  “Most contemporary environmental education is web based or communicated through classroom teaching. When students do venture out of the classroom, environmental education centers are typically located in relatively pristine “natural environments.” The extreme impact and complex relationship between human settlement and the natural world is frequently not investigated. Also, the architectural design of the center itself is rarely conceived of as a crucial part of the curriculum. In an environment like the Hampton Roads region, including the cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, the heavily industrialized Elizabeth River is an important generator of livelihoods and learning. Most K-12 school children have little opportunity to experience the river firsthand, especially to go out on the water and investigate. In collaboration with the Elizabeth River Project and other partners, a team of University of Virginia students and faculty have designed a floating environmental education field station to engage urban kids in hands-on exploration and learning about the Elizabeth.”

More info about the barge itself can be found here.

More info about the Elizabeth River Project can be found here.

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About nilsgore

professor of architecture at university of kansas
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