Building model cities of Walnut

Civics and Economics and World History teacher Justin Panlilio is teaching his civics and economics class this year through designing houses, building models and simulating a growing city.

The class began its model city project on the second week of school by painting layouts and dividing the land they would be building on, called New Walnut, into six districts. Then, students began constructing three-dimensional structures using paper, plastics and pipe cleaners.

“They’re starting from the ground up,” Panlilio said. “The way I teach economics is, ‘Let’s build a shelter first, [then] let’s try to sell the shelter.’ They learn about economics through the experience we have of simulating a civic life.”

The goal of this project is to help students understand some of the responsibilities they will face as adults such as buying and pricing houses.

“I like designing my house personally. The best part for me [was] building it [because it] was fun,” senior Evan Miranda said.

Students are learning about interest rates and will be assigned a credit score to buy a house through loans while trying to sell their own house. They will do this after determining the size and price of the land they will be selling.

“It’s kind of tedious, but in the end, it actually does help make complicated processes [such as buying a house] easier to comprehend,” junior Evan Chen said. “I enjoy how much it teaches you the process that is needed to understand more life skills for the future.”

By Matthew Au and Ethan Cheng, News editors

Photo by Jessica Dixon

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