On Friday, September 28, five 8th grade Link scholars and Mrs. Kutch, 7th grade science teacher, participated in Schools That Can’s 3rd Annual Design Day Challenge at the Newark Museum. Each year, Schools That Can (STC) brings together 50 students from Newark schools (traditional public, public charter, and private), along with local educators, businesses, and organizations to tackle a real-world design challenge facing the City of Newark, NJ. Link has participated in the STC Design Day Challenge since its inception in 2016 with past challenges included the design of an interactive art and science barge along the Passaic River and an application for an interactive kiosk in the Newark Downtown District for residents and tourists. This year’s challenge – redesign Newark’s historic Washington Park as a center for culture and community while paying homage to historical figures in the city’s history.
The students conducted field research before collaborating to create innovative designs that Newark Community and Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) could consider in redeveloping the park that sits at the northern gateway of Newark’s downtown, across from the Newark Museum, Newark Library, and various corporate headquarters. Designs featured permeable canvas floors to create art, soundproof nature preserves, tech-free zones, WiFi password scavenger hunts and more! Link scholars and chaperone were included in six of the eight teams – Hollister Construction (Grey), NJIT – College of Architecture and Design (Red), BuildPro (Black), Newark CEDC (Blue), Shufro Rose & Co (Teal) and Schools That Can (Light Green). Shout out to two of the winning teams which included Linkers: Best Design Choice – Hollister Construction (Grey) and Best Overall – BuildPro (Black). We cannot wait to see the design elements that will be adopted at Washington Park in the coming years!