The mission of the Architecture in the Schools committee is to seek and create ties to the K-12 education community by introducing students to the fundamental concepts of architecture and by educating students about architecture as a future career option.

Members of AIA Minnesota’s Architecture in the Schools committee have worked with teachers and administrators at the FAIR School Crystal campus to develop a curriculum for introducing seventh grade math students to mathematical concepts through architecture.  The program was implemented during the month of May and presents a hypothetical design challenge to students, who must work together in small groups to propose a solution.

During the unit students have the opportunity to design a sculpture for the courtyard on the school’s campus that answers the question, “How does FAIR School exist within the greater community?” They are required to measure and analyze the project site, create a material list and budget, build a scale model and present their model and concept to their peers and a selection committee.

Member firm ATS&R has proven instrumental in the development and implementation of the architecture unit (Intern Architect Eric Anderson, Assoc, AIA, is pictured above with students) .  Firm employees have volunteered their time to assist students with each step in the process by attending classes regularly to work with small groups. They will also host a Class Competition Celebration for the volunteers and students who have generated exemplary work. The selected students, their parents and volunteers will be honored at a luncheon at ATS&R’s office at the conclusion of the unit.

The new partnership with FAIR School Crystal follows the success of the Architecture in the Schools committee in rolling out a similar program with FAIR School’s downtown campus, in which firms Cuningham Group Architecture, Inc. and AECOM played similarly integral roles in implementing the programs and providing volunteer support.

Learn more about opportunities for involvement and other initiatives.