On June 7th, 6 6th grade girls (ages 11-12 years old) from public primary school number 28 – Szkoła Podstawowa im. A. Mickiewicza from Radom – in Poland participated in an IGNITE virtual event!
The girls got to meet an expert in the field of urban design! Ms. Marta Urbańska works at the University as a lecturer of urban design and is a freelancer in urban planning and graphic design. Moreover, she also cooperates with the NGO “Code for Poland,” where she helps to design applications for smart cities.
Despite the fact that Ms Marta is our frequent guest, during our events she is always extremely interesting and creates a great atmosphere!
During the current presentation, Ms. Marta told her story and her hobbies and fascinations to the girls. She described that as a young girl, she loved to draw and dance. Later, as a teenager, she was wearing dental braces and that was a reason why she wanted to become a dentist. In the end, however, she realized that she would never look in someone’s mouth. Her career path wasn’t simple and straight, but everything has led her to do her current work!
The expert showed a picture of a street from a Polish city, and asked the girls what was wrong or inconvenient. The girls were saying that it was crowded and that there was no space for pedestrians.
Ms. Marta asked how we could change this situation and asked whether it was okay that so much space was left for cars.
The expert explained that nowadays, the smart cities should have less parking spaces for the better. Due to climate change, the designers are planting as many trees as possible – which reduces CO2, noises, and reduces the temperature. Moreover, it calms the nervous system.
The expert told the participants the story about the experiment of two American designers who had rented a parking space and put artificial grass there, a bench, and a tree. After a while, many people were using this adapted area for leisure. This new approach to the parking spaces had spread into other cities worldwide. Moreover, it would develop into a new form, called a “parklet’ – which was a small place for rest with seats and greenery, resulting from the transformation of parking spaces. Ms. Marta gave many examples of such parklets.
The task for the girls was to rearrange one of the Polish streets. The girls had many interesting ideas, like: planting trees, making benches on the trees, and minimizing the area for cars.
The event was very interesting and interactive; the girls had many great ideas!
I would like to thank Ms. Marta Urbańska, who has inspired girls and expanded their horizons. Special thanks to Ms. Katarzyna Kwiecień, who coordinates the groups and encourages girls to develop their passions. I would also like to thank Cathi for her great help.
After attending this event:
of students are more interested in STEM
of students want to continue attending IGNITE Worldwide events
of students want to study harder to attend college and further their education
Here’s what the students thought of the event:
“You’re great :)) tells a very interesting story and I’m looking forward to meeting you again”
“I liked the interesting way of telling the story, and I think it is an interesting field”