• Welcome to a Blast from Our Past!

    Thanks for checking out our Scrapbook! Since some these items have been around since... well just about the dawn of the internet, the contact information shown may no longer be accurate. But we left it up just in case you want to reach out to anyone.

  • 56: Terrace Town Goes Green

    63: Terrace Town Goes Green

    Heather Sabin, Education Specialist, Monona Terrace, Madison Wisc. announces that The Association of Architecture Organizations (AAO) has chosen four National Nominees to represent the United States in the international phase of the inaugural Architecture & Children Golden Cubes Awards conducted by the International Union of Architects (UIA).

    Receiving Jury Special Recognition in 2011 is the “Terrace Town Goes Green” project sponsored by Monona Terrace. The Monona Terrace Town program and Heather Sabin are members of the CUBE Cadre and conduct workshops nationally in the use of Box City. For more information on the program description, use the link below.

    Read more about Architecture and Children programs, click here.

    Contact: Heather Sabin at

    To read more about Monona Terrace on the CUBE web site, click here.

  • 56: NEA Grant Support for Box City

    56: NEA Grant Support for Box City

    Jan Ham, Director of Learning by Design in Massachusetts, writes about a Box City designed & built by 2nd graders in New Bedford, Massachusetts. This was done with their hard-won $ from the NEA. 

    "Location. Location. Location." Jan comments that the best part was the sunny, two-story atrium space for the set-up and display. She also writes, "I'm trying to get the kids to write a story script to go along with a 20-slide powerpoint about the city, then put the story up on our website."

    Contact info for Jan, a CUBE cadre instructor in addition to the many hats of her own that she wears:

    Jan Ham, Executive Director
    Phone 508-528-4517
    Other email:

  • 64: St. Louis Box City

    64: St. Louis Box City

    Exciting note from St. Louis: Kandace L. Fisher, Housing and Environmental Design Specialist, University of Missouri Extension and Donna Garcia, Urban Youth Development Specialist. We used the house boxes as a way to teach students about ways to save money in their home through energy conservation.

    As the students created their own homes, we talked about energy saving strategies such as turning the lights off when they leave a room, taking shorter showers, using energy efficient light bulbs, line drying clothes, turning the TV and video games off when finished, turning the water off while brush their teeth and so on. The students thought the houses were awesome and really enjoyed creating their own.


  • 45: Box City Format and Process

    45: Box City Format and Process

    The two Box City Festival models described below were used by organizations for different audiences and purposes. Note: box ordering information follows descriptions.



    Goal: For student groups to create five individual Box Cities with each city focusing on a different issue: conservation, preservation, planning for the future, transportation, and a city for kids. Each city is constructed separately but reported on to the whole group.

    Target audience: 200-300 kids

    Time Frame: One part of 21/2 day training session. The creation of Box City occurs as the last event of the weekend.

    Things to Consider:

    1. When students arrive and receive their orientation portfolios, they are given assignments. Assign "city" (one of five), and description of city. May also want to assign each student a "role" at this time. Have pictures of interesting architectural details available that they may want to add to their building. (Sketch or camera) Have students fill out How Does Your City Work for You? and use as criteria when creating a city.
    2. About one hour into the workshop have the group/city get together to appoint a mayor. The mayor will in turn appoint a city council. At any time the citizens and the City Council can vote the mayor out of office.
    3. Tell the group that everything they see and do during the conference will contribute to the final project: the building of a city. They should be thinking about what other guidelines (besides those included in their packet) they would want for the running of a city. (Possible handout to explain: A City for Kids).
    4. City Commissioners and Mayor will direct the construction of the basic grid plan. Can do easily with sheets of construction paper which match the Building Code colors. One of these people should be alert to creating the report to the other cities.
    5. Remind each participant he/she will "present" their own box/building and tell a little bit about it.
    6. Wild Card. When the city is finished, you may want to introduce a challenge in the way of an earthquake, tornado, cyclone, big developer, or new preservation Law. Historically, citizens that had a preparedness plan have more successfully overcome the disaster than those who did not have one
    7. Ending reminder: Box City is a game, but it isn't much different than the citizen process. If there are things you want to change about the way laws are made, it is necessary to participate.


    Created by Sloan Museum and Longway and Planetarium, Flint, Michigan. Contact: Laurie Bone, Director of Education and and Anna Slafer, CUBE Cadre member,

    Goal: To engage parents and children in Flint, Michigan in thinking about their city.

    Target Audience: Up to 500 adults and children, dropping in throughout the day.

    Location: Empty store inside a shopping mall

    Time Frame: 10-4 on a Saturday

    Things to consider:

    1. Determine grid type you will use (pre-existing mat, tape, string, etc).
    2. To organize the location of each functional area in the space set up “zones”: e.g. building permit zone, boxes zone, building materials zone, construction zone. You can create fun signs to mark each zone.
    3. Staffing: Use teachers, residents, etc., to staff the different zones. Recruit local architects, artists, and urban planners to float around and assist participants with the design, fabrication, and placement of the buildings on grid. 2-3 people at building permit table (role is to help people select a building type and monitor the quantity of all buildings to ensure diverse city, then approve permit). 1-2 people to manage boxes zone to assist selection of appropriate boxes. 1-2 people at building materials zone to assist selection of building materials (aka art supplies) and maintain and re-supply area. 1-2 floaters in construction zone to assist with design ideas and physically creating the buildings. 1-2 floaters near the city grid to assist people in deciding the best place to put their building and to ask them questions to help them think about the ramifications of site selection (e.g. what might happen if you put the railroad next to the elementary school? How far will residents have to go to reach the grocery store, etc. Also ask big picture questions to help assess overall city: would you want to live here? Why or why not? What improvements could be made to our city?
    4. Decide city building rules

    Five very simple steps (list on poster board at entrance to space):

    1. Get a building permit
    2. Choose a building type
    3. Get city approval
    4. Construct the building
    5. Place on City grid
    6. Create a building permit. This is something that assists participants in selecting their building type, helps staff control the quantity of each building type, provides helpful information, and is a nice memento people can take home with them. The front side of the permit lists building options while the back provides some food for thought about designing environmentally friendly and community oriented buildings. Marking the permit “approved” by staff with a stamp adds an official feel.
    7. Let people know they can come back later in the day and pick up their boxes. If city gets too crowded, staff can take some off and put them aside.


    Recommendations: always order more than one box per anticipated participant. Boxes are sturdy and can be taped together for skyscrapers, or large horizontal buildings such as airports, factories, and convention centers.

    Prices vary according to time of purchase and paper costs. The following are estimates made in September 08.

    1/2 Festival Pack: 500 boxes in various configurations. Approximate price: $330 plus approximately $50 shipping. The 1/ 2 Festival pack is a custom order and includes $15 custom charge.

    The full Festival pack includes the following sizes so please calculate 1/2 shipment accordingly: 495 four inch; 405 four inch gable; 50 five inch; 50 six inch. Price for full Festival Pack: $615 plus estimated $95 shipping.

    Please allow three weeks delivery. When you order, you will receive the Box City curriculum on-line which includes generic supply lists and lots of pix of the various phases of Box City including "curriculum" and instructions.

  • 62: Model Program Goes to Community

    62: Model Program Goes to Community

    Children were introduced to city planning by participating in the design of Box City, a nationally recognized educational building project.

    Panelists discussed the challenges and rewards of teaching our children about history, preservation, and planning for the future. All have experience leading student tours of historic sites and presenting programs about St. Petersburg’s history to student groups. 

    Emily Elwyn, Preservation professional
    Robin Gonzalez, author of “Souvenir of St. Petersburg”
    Elaine Normile, Historian at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort
    Bill O’Grady, Supervisor of Sunken Gardens

    Children will be introduced to city planning by participating in the design of a Box City, a nationally recognized educational building project.

    Cookies and lemonade will be served, and Robin Gonzalez will be available to sign your copy of “Souvenir of St. Petersburg, Views from the Vinoy”. 

    A $5 donation to the Museum is requested.

    Contact Person:
    Robin Reed - (727) 825-0480,

  • 60: It's In The Details

    60: It's In The Details

    Including all aspects of the environment in their Box City, including trees, Kathy Allison, Campbell Hall school, writes: Thanks for all your help! We do love this unit, as I keep telling you. We follow it up with a unit on the history and landmarks - architectural and otherwise - of Los Angeles. Kathy has been doing Box City since 2006.

    Kathy Allison, Third Grade, Campbell Hall School, Los Angeles, CA

  • 42: Ellerbe Support

    42: Ellerbe Becket [now AECOM] Golf Tournament Support

    This group has been the most consistent supporter of CUBE, with the latest tourney in 2015!

    For the seventh year, Scott Sayers and his Ellerbe-Becket co-chairs for 2007: Doug Beichley, Brett Fuller and Julie Hall, provided a fabulous Golf Tournament to underwrite CUBE/Kansas City and its activities. Co-chair Scott Sayers comments, "Thanks to you guys and all your support. This is easily the one of the most (if not the most) enjoyable event we do each year, and we're glad to have CUBE as a benefactor."

    Laurie Bottiger, CUBE National Cadre member, "This money will be used to enhance our web site by putting additional curriculum on line. We are also looking for a BIG BOX CITY venue for Ellerbe in Kansas City. This will be a great outreach project for CUBE and make using the CUBE activities easier to access for educators."

  • 58: Bottiger at The Country School

    58: Bottiger at The Country School

    Bottiger announces, "We poise TCS (The Country School) for its next era...(check out the website Hurricane Irene has wreaked havoc on our environment....all of them.. we wiill focus on 21st Century Skills with an emphasis on STEM and Design Thinking. We are prepared to commit to becoming a local, regional, and national site. This means summer programs for teacher and kids too......CUBE will be a major emphasis for the lower school children at the beginning and probably forever....

    Who would have know how defining my CUBE experience and connections were going to become....thanks for that!!


  • 59: Columbia MO Hosts Box City

    59: Columbia, MO Hosts Box City

    The City of Columbia Office of Cultural Affairs sponsors participates Box City for Children's Art Festival. Sarah Skaggs, Program Specialist for the department explains, "We did Box City with an art class early in the semester and had their city on display. Kids attending the event were able to decorate their own house-shaped box and add to the city or take home. It was huge hit, we had 200 kids participate in about an hour and a half. Thank you for continuing to provide such a great activity!