Design-Inspired Learning: Rethinking the Googleplex

If you’ve ever been to Google Headquarters (affectionately nicknamed ‘The Googleplex’), or even watched Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughan’s The Internship, then you’d know just how incredible those workspaces are.

So, back in December, to make things interesting for my students’ final measurement project, I had them redesign the Googleplex. It was really something else to see what they included in their version of Google’s headquarters.

For the Garden Centre, one group measured out the volume and surface area of a rectangular prism and turned it into a Greenhouse. They did the same with an outdoor pool, as well as several bushes using triangular prisms.

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Another group, in charge of the Recreational Centre, put up VR stations and arcades, and made sure they were a 2:1 ratio in scale. They even used clay to make little people to scale! (Check out the little minion! 😊)

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Then there was the Rest Area with the napping pods that kids created out of cylinders, and the basketball arena made for the Wellness & Athletics Centre, also made out of a giant cylinder. Those were measured to scale as well, along with volume and surface area.

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The Dining Area had rows of circular tables in the form of a large “G” for “Googleplex”, surrounded by cubes for chairs.

Watching the kids turn up their level of innovation for a complex challenge like this was something else! Not only were they pushed to the limit in their problem-solving abilities for a real-life design project, but they also got to enjoy unleashing a tremendous amount of architectural creativity.

Providing the space for them to bring their ideas to life in this way was incredibly rewarding. I’m used to having kids do hands-on assignments like this for Science, but now having experienced it for math too, I look forward to doing it again. They learned so much.

For another architectural design challenge related to measurement or geometry, check out this news article from my colleague Aarti Dudani‘s Geometrocity Project. Thank you Aarti for the mentorship as I stretch my pedagogy – I wouldn’t have thought of this without your inspiration!

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♥️

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