Designing a Community Centre

In this project, students are asked to deign and build a new community centre that would be appropriate for their neighbourhood, town or region. There are a number of ways to customize this project based on how much you want to modify the process.


Grade Levels

This project would be appropriate for students in middle school or earlier in their high school careers (12 – 16 years old). But could be used by older or younger students depending on the depth that you expect students to move into as far as research, presentations, etc.

Created By

This project was originally created by

Elizabeth Willoughby ( and is covered under a Creative Commons license.




Steps to Completion

1.) Develop Knowledge: The building must contain three different geometric solids. Review geometric solids and explore 3D shapes (polyhedrons, prisms, pyramids).
2.) Students are challenged to think of many solutions to the challenge and to conduct research into the needs of their community and the architectural designs of other community centres around the world. (Design Sketch #1/Justify Design #1/Design Sketch #2/Justify Design #2, etc)
3.) At this point, students design a prototype model either on paper or in CAD software. They sketch, share their model with others and then reflect on their initial design.
4.) Following this you could discuss volume and surface area and have students partake in volume and surface area activities in CAD software.
5.) After these activities, the students can alter their designs, changing and improving them based on what they have learned.
6.) Comment on two other groups’ designs. Did they meet specs?
7.) After working through this process, the model that the students’ created are printed on a 3D printer.
8.) After completing their designs and printing them out, students could present their plans at a public meeting or open house where community members could ask questions and / or vote for the design they feel best meets the needs of their community.


Finished Project

The finished project could consist of several things that can be assessed:

– Any journaling, writing and design work (sketches, CAD files) completed before printing the object printing actually takes place
– The 3D printed object itself
– A post 3D print presentation to an audience (PowerPoint, live, recorded, etc)
– Student reflections that have taken place during the entire process

Follow Up

Students will create a model skateboard park. Using the PBL and design process, students will be presented with a series of problems requiring engineering, science and math skills. Ramps will require specified speeds controlled by inclines and ramp shape. Miniature skateboards sold in retail stores will be used for testing.


Extension Questions

1.) How does the base area of an extruded figure relate to the volume of the extruded figure?
2.) What are the similarities and differences of a cone and a pyramid?
3.) Compare/Contrast two three-dimensional shapes.



Did you try this project?

Do you have a remixed version? Let us know how it went in the comments section below.