Special to GUIDON
East Elementary students can enjoy an underwater adventure, thanks to a newly installed, custom-designed sensory hallway created by Waynesville Career Center students for their client, East Elementary Principal Renee Hays.
The design was created by second-year students in the advertising design class last year, but was just installed this month at East Elementary.
“The purpose of the design is to provide an interactive setting that allows students to refocus and recharge for re-entering the classroom setting,” according to the design brief.
The sensory hallway encourages students to play hopscotch, “play” the piano, walk a stingray’s balance beam, do a crabwalk, walk on a curvy line heel to toe, tip toe, give high fives to an octopus and more.
“Our second-year seniors in advertising design created this project for their final in May 2019,” said Donna Groves, advertising design instructor. “It was an amazing project that both our morning and afternoon students worked on together. They had to piece this entire project together like a puzzle, but this shows what students from eight different schools collaborating together can produce. I am very proud of our students.”
East Elementary staff and students voted on the theme of the hallway last spring.
“Mrs. Groves and her students were eager to learn and provide us with exactly what we were looking for to help our students have a place to move to get extra energy out as they transition through the hallway,” Hays said. “With these cold weather days we’ve had this week, our hallway has given kids sensory input and provided brain breaks that they need before going back to class to focus on their academics. I appreciate all the hard work and perseverance of the WCC staff and students in helping our dream become a reality.”
In addition to the design, the project required multiple measurements, movement research, interacting with children and measuring their range of motion to make the hallway a custom fit for East’s students and meetings with the client.
“Not only did they have the experience of working with Hays as their real-world client, but they also had the global experience of working with fellow students that they never met in person,” Groves said. “They had to use technology and hand-written notes to keep connected, since their classes do not overlap.”
Once the sections were designed, Blaire Smith, a senior last year, and Jeremy Daniels, a junior at the time, combined the pieces together using precise measurements as guides.
(Editor’s note: This article was submitted to the GUIDON by the Waynesville R-VI School District.)