City Blog

Feb 22

[ARCHIVED] Box City Gives Third Graders A Glimpse Into Fishers 2040

The original item was published from February 22, 2016 12:05 PM to February 22, 2016 12:09 PM

While Fishers 2040 planning continues to progress inside City Hall and throughout the community, local 3rd graders from Fishers Elementary School got a special glimpse into the process earlier this month with Box City. The two-day workshop led by Fishers’ city planners allowed the students to create a 3-D model of a Fishers neighborhood.

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“I think this was one of the best, most hands-on experiences that I’ve ever even had as a teacher, in my career,” said Erin Mohr, teacher of the 3rd grade Fishers Elementary School class. “The students really got to see what city development was like from the very beginning stages all the way through to the final stages and having the opportunity to work with city officials and actual people in the field was really powerful for them.”


The students were held to high standards as they worked to bring their ideas for Fishers neighborhoods to life. During the two-day workshop, they received an overview of Fishers’ history from the Hamilton County historian as well as an overview of Fishers’ future from city planners. Much like the community stakeholders involved in the Fishers 2040 planning process, the students were challenged to think about what kind of community they’d like to create for themselves, their peers and future families. They were tasked with creating proposals for development which required approval by a mock city council before they were allowed to move forward with their plans. They had to obtain building permits and undergo inspections just as a real developer would.

“First somebody comes up with the plan, then they go to the city council and see if the people in city council will let them build it and then they need to find a place to build it,” said Ruby Bohanan, a Fishers Elementary School third grade student.

It feels good, seeing it all come together, said Bohanan as she admired the 13 ½ feet by 17 feet box city on display at City Hall.

“I thought that there were so many levels of value here academically, but another level, totally unrelated to that was the relevance to their community and how they saw Fishers through the eyes of a planner and developer,” said Hamilton Southeastern Schools superintendent Dr. Allen Bourff. “Whenever we can connect the classroom to the community we consider that a win, and when you have students so engaged as we saw, it’s a win-win.”


The Box City workshop reinforced multiple elements of the school districts’ core curriculum, including local governance, history, math and community planning.

“It’s wonderful because the students are learning about more than just where their house is or where a park is, but how a whole city functions,” said Fishers City Councilor, Todd Zimmerman. “It’s really going to make them think outside the box to see how their part has to fit with others to build a city.”

Box City gave some of our youngest residents the opportunity to be involved in planning the future of Fishers’. To learn more about Fishers 2040, visit