First ‘Chattanooga As Text’ Summer Course Comes To Completion

Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Chattanooga as Text (CaT): Placemaking participants
Chattanooga as Text (CaT): Placemaking participants

Twelve girls from seven different area high schools have identified Chattanooga’s chief challenges and have found the solution to overcoming them: themselves. 

Chattanooga as Text (CaT): Placemaking: is a free interdisciplinary course sponsored by Girls Preparatory School, The Company Lab, and Public Education Foundation. The course has taken these 12 girls on a tour of Chattanooga--not as tourists but as agents of change.

For the past three weeks, the CaT placemakers have met with government agents, heads of local organizations, designers, and social entrepreneurs to better understand local problems and challenges.  They explored the Glass Street neighborhood and discussed ideas for improvement with Teal Thibaud and Whitni MacDonald from Glass House Collective. They met with Catherine Colby, creator and sustainer of water purification plant and wind energy park in Dominican Republic. They spent an overnight at Lula Lake and learned about sustainability from Patrick Kelley, Lula Lake Land Trust executive director. They even conducted a roundtable question and answer session with Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke. 

Other organizations represented include Regional Planning Agency, TVA, Intel Corporation, and Gensler Architecture of Atlanta. 

Friday, all of this learning and exploration will culminate in the final pitch session. In this session, each team of girls will deliver a public prospectus for a problem they have observed in Chattanooga and how they propose to address this problem. 

The public is invited to attend the final pitches on Friday from 10:30 a.m.-noon in the Caldwell Commons on the campus of Girls Preparatory School. 

Upon successful completion of the course, each girl will receive one general elective credit from GPS with the possibility of elective credit for science, history, or other applicable subject recognized by their individual school’s curriculum. Each student will also be able to take home the new iPad she has used throughout the course. 

According to the Project for Public Spaces, placemaking is “a hands-on approach for improving a neighborhood, city, or region” that “inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community.” 

For more information about the design of the course and its faculty, please visit 

To contact the CaT program director, Claudia Goldbach, call 634-5441 or e-mail

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