Mykahl Walker, one of nine middle school and high school aged boys recently attending the Fay Jones School of Architecture Summer Design Camp at the University of Arkansas, thinks more about architecture after attending the camp. He says he can see himself possibly pursuing a career in architecture or design.
Mykahl, pictured above taking notes at the Cooper Chapel designed by Fay Jones, worked on a covered outdoor structure with a center table that seats 16 people. “I had to focus on it so I could do my best,” he said. “I think it turned out really good.”
Mykahl, along with the other eight campers, mostly from Southeast Arkansas, received full scholarships to the camp as part of a collaboration between the Fay Jones School of Architecture and the Alex Foundation. The scholarships paid for each student’s instruction, materials, supplies, housing and meals, for an entire week, June 10-14.
Their activities included observation exercises, design development, visits to the Cooper Chapel and Crystal Bridges, and a preview of architecture and design professions taught by faculty at the the Fay Jones School of Architecture.
Alison Turner, the director of community education and architecture professor at the University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture, said design camp is a wonderful way for students to gain insight into the design process.
“I really enjoy being able to share my passion for architecture with young students and hopefully help inspire them to pursue their interests in the design professions,” she said. “Design Camp is a wonderful way for them to gain some insight into the process we go through in designing a project – and to take a little bit of the mystery out of how things are designed and built.”
Turner is also one of the Fay Jones School of Architecture professors who presents the Alex Foundation’s STE+AM (science, technology, engineering, art plus architecture and math) to Southeast Arkansas middle and high school students during the academic school year.
Most of the campers were from Chicot County. Students attending the camp (along with Mykahl who lives in Dermott and Atlanta) were Jaidyn Rucker of Lake Village, Brandon Barnett of Rison, Malachi Carter of Lake Village, Robert Graham of Little Rock, Xaelen Maxwell of Greenville, Emmarian McAdoo of Lake Village, Zaylon Thomas of Eudora, and Sederion Webb of Lake Village.
In addition to inspiring him to possibly pursue a career in architecture and design, Mykahl said the camp provided an opportunity for him to make friends with campers who shared his interests. “I got like seven phone numbers of kids I want to stay in touch with,” he said. “It was the best summer ever. I didn’t want to leave.”
Andrea Turner, the Lakeside High School counselor, and Deborah Patterson, the Lakeside Middle School counselor, engaged the students during the school year and assisted them with their summer camp application. Patterson and Stephanie White also served as chaperones for the campers and drove them to and from Fayetteville.
“The Alex Foundation appreciates the schools, counselors and parents’ support to ensure students, who expressed an interest in experiencing summer camp at the state’s only architecture and design university program, were afforded that opportunity,” said an Alex Foundation spokesman.
For more information about the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, visit https://fayjones.uark.edu/.
For more information about the Alex Foundation, visit www.alex-foundation.org.