Introducing Bernheim’s OUTSCHOOLED Winners

By bernheim

Introducing Bernheim’s OUTSCHOOLED Winners

Bernheim is proud to announce the winning entries from OUTSCHOOLED, a design competition for creating innovative outdoor learning spaces!

We launched the competition in September 2020 to reflect Bernheim’s interest in creating equitable and safe learning environments that offer students space and fresh air to be healthy at school. Advocating for outdoor education is an integral part of our Four Big Ideas: Actions Beyond our Borders, Thought Leadership, Exploring Deep Connections with Nature and Leadership in Ecological Stewardship. 

We were thrilled to receive a number of incredible submissions. To judge the entries, we assembled a jury panel which included: Director of Education Kristin Faurest, Facilitator of Outreach and Regenerative Design Claude Stephens, Jefferson Memorial Forest Naturalist Virginia Delaney, and Director of the Urban Design Studio at the University of Louisville Patrick Piuma.

“There were so many thoughtful and whimsical ideas, and also a wide range of approaches all adding up to an amazingly diverse toolkit for outdoor classroom design,” Kristin said. “We hope it will speak to schools and communities everywhere about the use of outdoor classroom spaces as a great solution, and one that is actually feasible to implement.”

Patrick noted that serving on the jury panel was a meaningful experience for him. 

“As a child I was fortunate to have access to the woods and streams in my own backyard where I’d spend hours each day exploring,” he explained. “That experience, paired with research and work I’ve been involved in on outdoor classrooms at Portland and Cane Run Elementary Schools and my wife’s work with outdoor education, helped me understand that creating spaces for children to grow and connect with nature is critical for their development. The OUTSCHOOLED program at Bernheim is a great initiative to move these ideas forward.”

Claude Stephens, Bernheim Facilitator of Outreach and Regenerative Design said the current atmosphere has offered a good opportunity to introduce the value of outdoor learning as a lasting attribute of school. 

“Dealing with Covid has opened new creative doors and inspired people to value being outdoors,” Claude said. “Reviewing the competition entries revealed how resilient and passionately creative people can be. Bernheim believes in the importance of outdoor learning – now and in the future.”

A total of 22 submissions came from the U.S., Mexico and Romania. Winners were chosen in three categories: Professional, University and Community. All submissions will be compiled into a design guide, which will be available free of charge on Bernheim’s website. 

Modest cash prizes and gift cards were awarded to the winners.

The winners were:


First place:

  • Nathan Smith and the students of Brandeis Elementary School STEAM/Architecture Club, Louisville, Kentucky

Joint for second place:

  • Jena Jauchius, Spokane, Washington; Dezire Clarke, Portland, Oregon; and Arnulfo Castro, Seattle
  • Dave Mayo, Studio Mayo Architects, Louisville, Kentucky, and Chattanooga, Tennessee


First place:

  • Cierra Johnson, University of Kentucky College of Design School of Architecture

Honorable mention:

  • Bree Shoemaker, University of Kentucky College of Design School of Architecture


First Place:

  • Summer Garris and students, Larue County High School, Hodgenville, Kentucky

Honorable Mention:

  • Austin Nikolich and students at Sacred Heart Preschool, Louisville, Kentucky

Congrats to all our winners! We are so grateful for the work you are doing to create safe outdoor spaces for students to learn. 


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