Architecture in Education (AIE)

Architecture in Education (AIE)


Architecture in Education: A Resource of Imaginative Ideas and Tested Activities
published 1986, revised 2009
200 pages

Spiral Bound Manual
$50 now only $20!

PDF Download
$30 now FREE!



Architecture in Education (AIE)

Presented annually during the academic school year

Support AIE with your donation of any amount
Fund a classroom for $1,000 ($85/mo) OR donate ANY amount

Details can be found below


  • We believe every student should have access to design education

  • We believe that a diverse design community is more responsive and accountable to the communities it designs for

  • We believe that connecting the general public and the design community helps solve some of the most pressing problems in our city

  • We believe that thoughtful design can inspire and empower people within their local communities

Our Architecture in Education program is provided at no cost to Philadelphia public school classrooms and teachers. The Center is seeking support, both financial and volunteer, to expand this program into as many Philadelphia K-12 classrooms as possible.

The Center for Architecture and Design's AIE program empowers the next generation to be effective shapers of and advocates for our city, our neighborhoods, our parks, and public spaces. AIE introduces the design process to K-12 students in the classroom via a series of engaging hands-on STEAM workshops taught by practicing architects, designers, and engineers. Students not only learn about career paths in architecture, engineering, and construction, but also learn how to use design to become better stewards of their neighborhoods and champions for a more useful, beautiful, and equitable city.

AIE brings an architect, designer, or engineer - plus educational materials - into K-12 classrooms for 4-8 sessions over the same number of weeks. Through several small projects, children are given the opportunity to explore how architecture, urban planning, and design impact their daily lives while they learn the design process. For the final project, children then use their new design skills to address a real-world design issue that affects their own lives, whether in their school, their neighborhood, or their home.

We are especially interested in this program reaching Philadelphia public and charter school students in grades 3-5, but the program is available to students of any grade level. Private, parochial, and homeschool classrooms will be considered for participation only when all Philadelphia public and charter school classrooms that want the program are being served and we have a surplus of volunteer architects, designers, and engineers.



Are you interested in bringing the AIE program into your classroom? Please email David Bender, Associate Director, with:

  • Your school name (priority given to Philadelphia public and charter schools)
  • Your classroom grade level
  • Contact information for both the classroom teacher and the school principal

Our staff and K-12 Committee chairs will coordinate a meeting with interested teachers and principals to determine how best to implement the program at your school.

Parents interested in having this program presented in their child's school should speak with their child's teacher(s) and ask them to reach out to us. 

Architects, Designers, + Engineers (+ College Students)
Are you interested in volunteering to teach architecture and design to K-12 students? Please fill out our Volunteer Form and be sure to select the "K-12 Education" option!

Philadelphia-based architecture, design, and engineering firms are invited to "adopt" a Philadelphia public school through our AIE program. Adoption means committing to providing at least two designers per semester (more volunteers welcomed!) in addition to sponsoring the cost of implementing AIE in each classroom your employees volunteer in. Adoption allows for stronger relationships to develop between students, professional designers, and teachers, meaning more opportunities to make a lasting impact in a a school and its neighborhood. If your firm is interested in adopting a school, please fill out our Volunteer Form and mention the adoption in the "Optional Notes" section at the end of the form.

TEACHERS' MANUAL | 200 pages
Architecture in Education: A Resource of Imaginative Ideas and Tested Activities

The original STEAM teacher's guide for integrating architecture education into K-12 classrooms has been updated and revised for the first time! First published in 1986, this influential guide has served as the basis for the majority of K-12 architecture education programs around the United States (and many around the world). Full of exercises, projects, and advice on how to incorporate these fun, hands-on activities into your curriculum - whether you teach science, math, social studies, language arts, or art. This revised and updated spiral-bound edition (©2009) is a helpful addition to any modern teacher's library.

Purchase a spiral-bound print copy | $50 now only $20!

Or download the PDF version | $30 now FREE!