Students Participate in Architectural Design Challenge

Architectural Design Challenge 
Sixth graders at Eden Hall Upper Elementary shared their architectural designs with a panel of experts on May 9, 2017.

Students were challenged to repurpose unused space (barn) found on neighboring Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus in a sustainable and meaningful way to better serve the community in the Sustainable Architectural Design Challenge.

The 2017 winning team was the Sustainable Shepherds, who designed the Eden Hall Barn Biome. The team consisted of sixth graders Tyler Derks, Natalie McLean, Nicholas Murray and Katherine Yanni. 

They worked in small teams, created a design and model and made a presentation to a panel of community experts that included architects, real estate agents, engineers and other experts helped judge the models.

The Architectural Design Challenge addressed many areas in science, technology, art, mathematics.   Students developed an understanding of:

  • Technological Design
  • Personal & Community Health
  • Solutions Using a Systematic Process to Deal with Constraints & Meeting Criteria
  • How to Analyze Data to Determine Similarities & Differences among Several Design Solutions 

Teachers Jennifer Kopach and Joanna Sovek worked with the sixth grade teachers and students. The students and staff worked  who to secure the panel of judges. Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation Executive Director Louise Sturgess, Chatham University Sustainability and Education Coordinator-Community Programs Kelly Henderson. The full panel of judges is listed below:

Louise Sturgess
Executive Director
Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation 

Kelly Henderson
Eden Hall K-12 Education Director
Chatham University

Cameron Heyder
Eden Hall K-12 Program
Staff Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability Student

Kira Martin
Eden Hall K-12 Education Resource Coordinator
Chatham University

Dani SanFilippo
Eden Hall K-12 Food Systems Educator
Master of Arts in Food Studies/MBA Student
Chatham University 

Alaina Bernstein                                             

Architectural Systems Designer                        

Forms & Surfaces                                            

Chatham University


Laura Schwartz                                                          

Project Manager/Historic Preservation               

Arris Construction, LLC                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Jessica Stuck                                                 


Perfido, Weiskopf, Wagstaff, Goettel                             


Paul Tellers                                                    



Kelcy Wagner
Eden Hall K-12 Field Trip Coordinator
Chatham Alumna
Chatham University


Samantha Weaver

Program Coordinator

Architecture Learning Network & Architecture Explorations

Carnegie Mellon University


Cat Adams

AIA, LEED AP BD+C Architect
Cannon Design


Lou Anne Caligiuri

Dean of Eden Hall Campus

Chatham University