Introducing the Architecture, Geotechnical Engineering & Apprenticeship Quests


With a new session come new Quests.

This week began Session 2 of Year 2 of The Forest School. We’re thrilled to introduce these new Elementary, Middle, and High School Quests.

Architecture Quest (Elementary)

Imagine you find yourself in a forest. Night is falling and you have to build a shelter. You gather sticks, but they keep toppling over. You finally find a vine and begin to tie the sticks together which helps to hold them upright. You add a few leaves for more coverage, and now it’s looking like a beautiful little hut. Once it’s completed, you crawl inside, but soon realize there is hardly any room, and as rain begins to fall, tiny drops of water trickle onto your face. Morning finally arrives and you decide that a better shelter is needed. You analyze the good, the bad, and the ugly, assessing your needs and making a plan for a new and improved shelter.

My question to you, heroes, what is more important, form or function?

In this Quest, you will play the role of architects, designing ideal Acton Academy for new Forest School location. You must think about the things you would like in a school, but also, future Heroes, school leaders, and families. Challenges will take Heroes through the process of designing a building: research, design (drafting/sketching), and construction (model building).

The goals of this Quest are to introduce architecture as a calling and the heroes who chose it, to inspire a love of design and creation, and to instill a deeper understanding of process and the importance of knowing when to follow instructions and when to take your own path.

Our Exhibition will showcase the research on Heroes favorite architects and their architectural style, as well as, a gallery of completed models. Prizes will be awarded to the “Most Innovative” group and the “Most Likely to be Built” group. 

This Quest will require precision and attention to detail, and working within creative constraints.

Good luck, architects!

Geotechnical Engineering Quest (Middle School)

In the coming months, the design process for our new school building will kick into gear. The cool part is that you will be a part of it, getting the chance to put your fingerprints on what the school looks and feels like. But there is a lot of work to do before we get to the actual building. When it comes to designing structures, what is under the building is actually more important that what is inside of it.

So, before we can build a school, we must first make sure we have solid ground to build on.

This session, you will serve as Geotechnical Engineers. We will be working along with Pinewood Forest engineers to test the soil at potential school sites and see whether it is good enough for building. You will work in groups to dig the samples, analyze them, and make sure the soil has the perfect consistency for construction.

In this Quest, we will be getting our hands dirty (literally) and doing real world science in the neighborhood.

At our Exhibition, you will use the skills and knowledge you have acquired to accurately analyze soil samples brought in from visitors and make recommendations about 1.) whether the soil can support a structure, and 2.) what needs to be done to the soil to ensure it's safe to build on. The team with the most accurate analyses will be declared the winner.

Welcome to the Geotechnical Engineering Quest!

Apprenticeship Quest (High School)

Here at The Forest School, our mission is that each person who enters our doors will find a calling that will change the world.

This session heroes will gain experience of what it feels like to be an apprentice. During this time, they will answer the following question, How Do I Find and Get the Right Apprenticeship Opportunities?

Learners will have the opportunity to identify, research, and secure a meaningful apprenticeship in a position where they can use hone their greatest gifts, exploring an industry, company and assignment that will advance them towards finding their calling.

Goals for this Quest include:

  • Define my passions and what I want to explore

  • Identify opportunities to explore further

  • Learn and practice the communication process for obtaining an apprenticeship

  • Obtain an apprenticeship and complete 40 hours in 1 week (Sept 23rd-27th)

  • Execute on promises

  • Receive a letter of recommendation

At the end of this experience learners will have a better idea of what drives them, how it feels to be an apprentice, what careers aren’t for them, and what areas of passions to pursue, with the end goal of obtaining a recommendation from their company.

Exhibition will consist of a contest between heroes where parents and experts will be the judge of most compelling experience. One in which heroes showcase their week long apprenticeship opportunities.

May the most cultivating adventure win! Who will win? We’ll let you be the judge.

banner image via

Tyler Thigpen