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PAWsh Palaces voting kicks off

posted November 2nd, 2018 by
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Adrien, Katelyn, Alyssa and Kaylen show off their prototype.

After you vote at the polls head on over to Woodland Hills Mall to vote in the inaugural PAWsh Palaces competition.

Voting is now open for the Tulsa SPCA’s newest event in partnership with the Eastern Oklahoma Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIAEOK), the Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance (TRSA) and Tulsa area schools.

Located just outside the lower level of Macy’s, shoppers can vote on six dog houses and one cat condo, each paired with a student team prototype. Each $5 vote gives participants a chance to win their favorite creation while raising funds for the Tulsa SPCA.

Mindy Tiner, executive director of the Tulsa SPCA, said via press release the program is modeled on a similar event hosted by the SPCA of Texas. “We currently offer school presentations on a variety of subjects including anti-bullying (using animals to teach empathy) and responsible pet ownership. This event fits in perfectly as it uses STEM skills to teach students about shelter and pet responsibilities for outdoor animals.”

The seven AIA architect teams, working with local builders, began work on dog house and cat condo designs in July. This fall, students in STEM programs in local elementary schools began making prototype doghouses and cat condos with mentorship from architects, according to a press release.

Students and architects both presented their designs this morning at Woodland Hills Mall. Student prototypes included themes such as Halloween house and rainbow house and featured finishing touches like chandeliers, TV’s and a safe room.

The life-size dog houses also included some extraordinary features, including a reflecting pool, storage areas and places for owners to sit with their pets.

The school teams were paired with the AIA/Builder team entrants and their works will be displayed side by side through Nov. 18 when voting closes.

Rebecca Harris, media specialist for Mark Twain Elementary who also helps with after school programs, said this has been a dream for her students.

“Teachers are so limited right now on any type of learning that has to do with starting from scratch, whether it be writing, creating a dog house or anything else where the kids have that luxury of being able to have divergent thinking from knowledge gleaned from whatever professional or educator and then to build on that. That’s a luxury,” Harris said.

“And so the fact that these people came, these angels, from the architecture society, from STEM, from SPCA, what wonderful people those are in our community,” Harris continued.  “They gave up their time to help these children have an understanding to where they can make this happen.”

Harris said at first the children were not sure what to make of the program, but each week she could see their self-esteem building and their sense of community growing as they worked on creating and building together.

Kaylen, Katelyn, Alyssa, Adrien are the students who made up the peer-voted team representing Mark Twain Elementary. Adrien said working on the project was a lot of hard work but also fun.

“An architect came and he was telling us about architecture and he was telling about how to build everything. We had to make a checklist,” Adrien said. “In the second meeting we had our client and we had to talk to the client, which was a dog. We measured the dog and talk to it and figured out what it wanted.”

After that the team put together blueprints and finally began construction on their project.

“It was really fun and the best part is that we get to come to Woodland Hills Mall and show it off and try to win,” Adrien said.

His teammate Katelyn agreed saying, “This is the best after school program I have ever been to.”

Both children said they would be interested in learning more about architecture in the future.

The top three STEM elementary school teams will win awards of $1,000, $500 and $250, respectively. Architect/Builder design+build award winners will be determined by a jury panel, while the People’s Choice award will go to the team with the most votes received by the public

An awards celebration will take place at 5 p.m. Nov. 18 at Woodland Hills Mall.

Participating schools include Tulsa Public Schools Mark Twain Elementary and Union Public Schools Ochoa, Boevers, Clark, Jarman, Jefferson and McAuliffe.

You can view all of the submissions below.

— Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]