It’s hard to believe but it’s almost time for kids to head back to school. As the 2014-2015 school year approaches, the Architecture Foundation of Oregon (AFO) is once again looking for architects, intern architects, landscape architects, or interior designers willing to offer their time and energy to its longest-running, signature program: Architects in Schools.
The unique program provides elementary schools the opportunity to work with practicing professional architects and designers in curriculum-based activities. Coordinated by the AFO, Architects in Schools forms exciting partnerships between design professionals and Oregon schools. Architects, intern architects, landscape architects, and interior designers are all welcome to participate.
The program pairs design professionals with classroom teachers to deliver arts programming, cultivate environmental understanding, enhance appreciation of cultural links to history, foster career awareness, and develop students’ communication skills—all through the principles and practices of architecture and design.
Students participating in Architects in Schools also learn about cooperation and planning, connect to required education standards, and gain a better sense of how school relates to the “real world.”
Thousands of students have participated in AiS over the years. The program is just as vital and relevant today as it was when Marjorie Wintermute, FAIA first initiated the program more than thirty years ago.
Architects in Schools is open to grades 3 through 5 and is offered to schools at no charge. The design professional’s commitment to the program usually totals approximately 20 hours between January and April as follows:
- 12 hours in the classroom (approximately two hours per week over a six-week period that works with the architect’s schedule)
- 8 hours of orientation, including pre-planning time with teachers, and
- Up to 2 additional hours of “floating time”
There is no charge for participation for design professionals or schools. Architects may receive Continuing Education credits and interns may receive IDP credits for completion of the entire program. Everyone receives a copy of the comprehensive curriculum, Architecture as a Basic Curriculum Builder.
This year's program information is here. This year, the AFO is using Survey Monkey for easy online applications. Click the link below to complete your application:
The deadline for 2014-2015 design professional applications is September 12, 2014. Orientation will take place in late October for Southern Oregon and in November for Portland, Eugene, and Bend. The Salem orientation will occur in January. The AFO will announce exact dates and as soon as possible.
It’s been a while since I participated in the Architects in Schools program (I taught third graders at Coburg Elementary School), but it stands today as one of my most rewarding volunteer experiences. Consider sharing your passion and professional skills with the community through the AiS program. If you do, you'll see what I mean.