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Mountain View Academy Students Showcase Creativity and Collaboration

Students at Mountain View Academy recently learned about some of the world’s most famous structures, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Pyramids of Giza, by building them. It was all part of their lesson about architecture.

Through a hands-on project, second graders in Rio Lafont’s class explored various architectural styles, and each group of students chose one iconic structure to study more in-depth. Scholars researched their chosen landmark, uncovering facts about the architect, materials used in construction, and unique design elements. They then built their own version.

“They used mostly different types of cardboard and masking tape to build their model based on what they researched,” Lafont explained. She shared that the construction process involved overcoming challenges, such as structural stability and limited assistance when team members were absent.

Student building their structure.

“I think it really helped them understand that it doesn't matter what you're building; you're going to face challenges,” Lafont said. “Just like our Moral Focus virtue of perseverance, they really had to push through. It helped build their self-confidence and realize they could do it.”

After completing construction, the students presented their projects to the class. “They introduced themselves one by one in their group, explained what they did, and then had an open forum. They would call on students and then answer questions about their project,” said Lafont.

She explained the project not only helped students learn about architecture but also the importance of teamwork and advocating for themselves within their groups. For educators considering similar projects, she suggests maintaining a hands-off approach while providing guidance when needed. Setting clear expectations and group norms beforehand can help ensure a smooth and productive project experience.

"I gave them a few tips and tricks to help them out, but it was important to be mostly hands-off and really just see what they can do,” noted Lafont.

Great job Mrs. Lafont on such a fun, interactive lesson!
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About Mountain View Academy
Mountain View Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Colorado Springs, Colorado, serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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