The Evolution of Egansville

We are so excited to announce that AFO has created AiS curricula in partnership with PAE Engineers to accompany this wonderful book they published. It follows a group of friends in the tiny town of Egansville. The town has been dealing with the effects of a landslide that has wreaked havoc on power and water resources. Luckily, a group of spunky kids come to the rescue using creative problem solving and design thinking – showing how kids have the ability to make important choices that help each other and make their community better!

You can access the book directly from the link below and read it to students during distance learning or by projecting the pages from a computer and/or smart board in the classroom. If you would like to avoid any initial ads, you can create an account on Issuu (the electronic publishing platform) that will enable you to go straight to the book.

Access the eBook here

Evolution of Egansville Curricula

This book can easily accompany any AiS residency and work into your AiS goals. In partnership with PAE Engineers, AFO has developed two Architects in Schools curriculum guide lessons that can accompany their book. See the curriculum guide lessons below.

If you are interested in piloting some of the lessons and activities related to this book, please contact as soon as possible as we would love your feedback.

The Evolution of Egansville AiS Lessons:

Feel free to customize and adjust this plan to the needs of your classroom!

Grade Level: 3rd, 4th & 5th
Residency Length: One session per week for 6 weeks
Time Per Session: 30-60 minutes

Residency Goals:

  • Students gain a basic understanding of the architectural profession
  • Students gain an understanding of environmental impact and how design can help or hinder the natural environment
  • Students learn math concepts such as scale
  • Students learn the design process
  • Students practice following directions
  • Students learn how to consider the needs of others

Session 1:


  • Design/building professional introduces themselves, teaches a bit about their career and answers questions
  • Design/building professional explains the design process
  • Design/building professional reads “The Evolution of Egansville” from start to finish (if pressed for time, at least read stories about Buggs and Freddy as well as the book’s introduction about the town of Egansville and the prologue relating to Buggs in the back of the book)
  • Teacher and design/building professional give students an overview of what they will be accomplishing during their AiS residency


Teacher follow up before Session 2: Have students finish reading through “The Evolution of Egansville” if it was not finished during this session

Session 2:


  • Design/building professional leads (4.105) What Makes a Sustainable Place to Live?
  • Design/building professional leads a lesson on different sustainable design choices and buildings, and leads a discussion on how sustainability could help Egansville and the students’ community
  • Design/building professional leads students through creating a cut-paper collage of what makes a healthy living space


  • PowerPoint/slideshow for the design/building professional’s presentation
  • Students will need a printed copy of the Sustainable Design Vocabulary Match and access to magazines, cut outs and paper for their collages

Teacher follow up before Session 3: Have students finish their collages and the vocabulary match. EXTRA CREDIT: Have students read these articles on sustainable design:

Session 3:


  • Students share their collages from last session
  • Design/building professional leads (2.34) What Do I See Through My Telescope? For this residency, we suggest this lesson to be done outside if possible. It can also be done by the teacher prior to the design & building professional coming for this session. Questions to ask students during the lesson: What details do you notice through your telescope on the structure you are in or near that you may not have noticed before? If you are outside, what are some things that aren’t built by people that you might not have noticed if you weren’t looking through your telescope? Why do you think it’s important to take care of our natural environments as well as our built ones?
  • Design/building professional leads at least part of (4.65) What Makes Structures Stand Up? Focus on the three sided pyramid if you are pressed for time.
  • Teacher and design/building professional introduce the final project, which will be to design and build a structure for a client – students choose or are assigned a bug client
  • Design/building professional leads students through filling out steps 1-4 of the Design Development Sheet from (4.99) A Special Structure for a Bug Client



Teacher follow up before Session 4: Have students finish steps 1-4 on their Design Development Sheets and gather research on their client. If there is time, have students complete lesson (2.20) Let’s Face It – The Eyes are in the Middle! and lesson (2.27) Now Let’s Try it on a Building

Session 4:



Teacher follow up before Session 5: Have students complete steps 5-6 on the Design Development Sheet

Session 5:


  • Students share their floor plans and elevations from last session
  • Design/building professional shares modeling tips with students and shows examples of different architectural models
  • Students begin building a physical model of their structure for their client. Encourage students to use the shapes they made from lesson (4.65) What Makes Structures Stand Up?


  • PowerPoint/slideshow for the design/building professional’s presentation
  • Students will need their Design Development Sheet and drawings from last session, construction paper, scissors, tape or glue, drawing utensils, and model making materials (e.g. recycled materials, paper, fabric scraps, felt, any art supplies)

Teacher follow up before Session 6: Have students continue building their models

Session 6:


  • Design/building professional helps students as they finalize their models
  • Students are given a chance to present their projects


  • Students will need their Design Development Sheet and drawings, drawing utensils, and model making materials (e.g. recycled materials, paper, fabric scraps, felt, tape, glue, scissors, any art supplies)

The following videos were originally developed as a part of our 2022 Architects in Schools Summer Camp, Small Changes = Big Impact: Designing for a Sustainable and Resilient Future. The videos have since been adapted for use during Architects in Schools school-year residencies.

Please note that the read aloud videos don’t include the story of Gaucho, don’t follow the book from front to back, and instead follow a format that coincided with our 2022 Summer Camp. We recommend you follow the order laid out below since the videos build upon each other. In addition, the videos discuss sustainability concepts such as resource usage, green design, the impact of design professionals on the environment, personal responsibility, the living building challenge and more.

The videos can be watched together as a class or be assigned to students to view on their own time.

Featuring Jeremy Galvin, Engineer at PAE in Portland, Oregon.

Part 1: The Beginning and the End

Shareable Video Link:
Video length: 10:03
Closed captions available

Reflection Question: Why is it important for engineers like Jeremy to consider their impact on the Earth when they design spaces?


Part 2: Enna and Choplin

Shareable Video Link:
Video length: 13:09
Closed captions available

Reflection Question: What are some ways you can reduce the amount of resources you use on a daily basis?


Part 3: Freddy

Shareable Video Link:
Video length: 6:19
Closed captions available

Reflection Question: How can you use design thinking to be more resourceful and use less natural resources?


Part 4: Buggs

Shareable Video Link:
Video length: 6:54
Closed captions available

Reflection Questions: What is one takeaway from this story about the kids of Egansville? How can you use your passions to better your community?

“The Evolution of Egansville” by Rachel Roellke Coddington