DPR Participates in 29th LEAP Sandcastle Competition

On Saturday, October 20th, DPR Construction partnered with Gensler and Ulloa Elementary School to participate in the 29th Leap Sandcastle Competition. The Leap Sandcastle competition has a few purposes. It serves as the major fundraiser for Leap, an organization with a mission to provide “arts education programs that help students build skills to achieve their fullest potential." But more importantly, it teaches kids about design and construction. It inspires students by showing them that ideas can become things.

Andrea Walker and I worked with a few designers at Gensler to teach a 5th grade class at Ulloa Elementary School about what it takes to build an idea. We spent three Fridays in the classroom explaining how the big day would work and helping the students brainstorm ideas, then model them with clay. This year’s theme was “Leap Year 2012: Things That Jump” and we created a sand castle of Jaws-like proportions. We had a shark jumping out of the water, breaking a boat in half, with people swimming away to save their lives.

Here’s a model of what we wanted to achieve:

And here’s the final product:

Pretty similar, right?

Despite a very cold and foggy start, the competition was a huge success. The kids did the majority of the building and had a lot of fun, even when they had to recreate the shark after it partially collapsed.

At the award ceremony, we won “Best Teamwork,” which was a huge accomplishment based on how well the group worked leading up to the competition and at the day of the event.

We look forward to seeing what terrifyingly amazing sandcastle we build next year.