Architecture in the Schools

  • AIS Past Chair, Mary Shaffer, AIA; with architect Bob Shaffer, AIA , present to kids.
  • AIS Member David Little, Assoc. AIA with students at the Perpich Center for Arts learning about spatial planning at the IDS Center.
  • iVisual aids brought to classrooms included 3-D models, Everyday Spaces a& Places workbook and 100 places + 1 book.

Architecture in the Schools Overview

Work with teachers and students to bring architectural ideas and concepts to schools as a committee member and/or speaker. As a committee member, get involved in developing a classroom presentation kit, the DoodleOpolis curriculum, and responding to requests from schools and organizations including matching up speakers to fill specific needs. Speakers enjoy the rewarding experience of sharing architectural concepts and ideas with teachers and students

The Architecture in the Schools Committee fits into AIA Minnesota's strategic goals of Information and Knowledge Delivery, External Dialogue (with the public), Advocacy and Value. Our mission statement sums up the activities of the Architecture in the Schools committee: "To equip architects and educators with the tools needed to introduce the concepts of architecture to students of all ages."

 

 

Chair: Bob Russek, AIA

AIA Staff Liaison: Angie McKinley

Meeting Date: Second Tuesday of each month at 8 a.m., AIA Minnesota Conference Room

Volunteer Opportunities:

Career Fairs — Speak with high school students at career fairs in the Minneapolis Public School district about architecture as a career path. All materials are provided by the AIS committee and time commitment is only 1-2 hours. Dates and times for spring: March 5, 8:30 – 10:30 am (bi-lingual architects preferred); March 13, 9 – 11 am (classroom setting); March 18, 8 – 10:30 am (classroom setting); April 24, 8:30 – 11:00 am (gymnasium setting); May 2, 9:00 – 11:30 am (gymnasium setting).

FAIR School, Crystal campus – Help teach 7th grade math students about the fundamentals of math in architecture using hands-on exercises. Curriculum is provided. 1-2 sessions per week starting April 29.

If interested in either of these volunteer opportunities, please contact Angie McKinley or 612-338-6763.

Classroom Collaborations:

2012: Perpich Center for the Arts
This was the third year that AIS has worked with Perpich Center for Arts Education (PCAE), planning and presenting a nine week introduction course on Architecture to 15 high school juniors focused on various disciplines of arts education.

The sessions involve various lessons and exercises leading up to a final project. The program kicked-off with a tour of the Guthrie, and topics such as drawing, scale, proportion, rhythm and sequence prepared them for the final project; which was to create their own studio space based around their discipline. After the projects were completed, volunteers returned to Perpich to listen to the students present their work and provide a critique session.

FAIR School program
New this year is a partnership program with the downtown FAIR School. Volunteers of the committee teach a 10 week course to students of Grade 9. The program kicked-off with a tour to the Basilica, topics of scale, proportion, rhythm and sequence were covered, along with the introduction to the final project - creating a landmark on their own patio space.
2011:The Architecture in the Schools (AIS) Committee would like to share two of their most recent classroom collaborations - Success Beyond the Classroom (SBC) and Perpich Center for Arts Education.

Success Beyond the Classroom (SBC) provides programs which allow students from various metro area districts celebrate their creative potential outside of the classroom. This January was the first year in which the committee collaborated with SBC for this event held at the Ted Mann Concert Hall on the U of MN Campus. We were thrilled to receive this opportunity to introduce and promote Architecture to such an eager group of third and fourth students.

Volunteers presented the Spaces + Places, Everyday Landmarks Workbook to a group of 30 students over six different sessions, and totaling nearly 200 students throughout the two day festival. We introduced Architectural concepts and language; as well as the fundamentals of plan, section, and elevation drawing. They were asked to create their own Landmark for their city or neighborhood, and took their workbooks home to reinforce what they had learned. See the SBC Summary (PDF).

This was the second year that AIS has worked with Perpich Center for Arts Education (PCAE), planning and presenting a nine week introduction course on Architecture to 15 high school juniors focused on various disciplines of arts education.

The sessions involve various lessons and exercises leading up to a final project. The program kicked-off with a tour of the Guthrie, and topics such as drawing, scale, proportion, rhythm and sequence prepared them for the final project; which was to create their own studio space based around their discipline. After the projects were completed, volunteers returned to Perpich to listen to the students present their work and provide a critique session. See the Perpich Summary (PDF).

Classroom Materials

Spaces + Places: Everyday Landmarks -an hour long workbook will introduce students to the 10 Principles of Livable Communities (an AIA initiative) and guides them through hands-on activities. At the end of the project, each student designs a landmark for his or her community or school and keeps their workbooks, compliments of AIA Minnesota and AIA National.

Being An Architect
- a flyer for middle school children and high school-aged young adults on architecture and what it means to be an architect. If you are an architect planning to visit a classroom or a teacher looking for resources you may request color copies by calling AIA Minnesota.

DoodleOpolis - Adventures in Urban Architecture - a curricula that can be geared towards 5th through 8th grade students. The two components of DoodleOpolis include Cityscape, which introduces young students to concepts of design and architecture, such as scale, proportion and detail; and Puzzles of the Past: Urban History, which introduces concepts of urban planning and asks questions about why there are cities, helping students to understand how cities evolve.

World Architecture - great buildings of the world, from pyramids to present day; a PowerPoint presentation - Since February 2003, we have been working in partnership with the University of Minnesota chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS). The World Architecture presentation is part of the Architecture Presentation Guide, and helps architects in speaking to youth about architecture.

Architecture Presentation Guide - a list of resources available for architects to use in presentations to classrooms, including the World Architecture presentation described above. When architects are asked to present to a class, they often call the AIA Minnesota office seeking resources, which are currently quite limited. Our committee decided to fill that need by compiling our architectural classroom activities into a collection that AIA members can borrow when they are asked to speak - from slide shows to hands-on activities, ranging from one class period to several.
Download the High School Career Day slideshow here.