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Student Day Workshops are for K-12 school groups interested in enriching their classroom learning through the disciplines of architecture, engineering, urban planning, and design.

All Student Day Workshops are live, interactive programs led by Center for Architecture Design Educators. Students explore the program topic through inquiry-based investigations of architectural examples, drawing, movement, and design activities, then apply what they have learned to create their own designs on the program theme. Schools supply the recommended materials or can purchase kits from the Center for Architecture.  

All programs include a Resource Packet with additional information, extension activities, and links to curriculum standards.   

Please contact Breanna Katsman, Education Program Coordinator at 212-358-6127 or to begin the booking process.  


Student Day is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council, and Con Edison.

2021 - 2022 Format Options

Virtual Programs

1-hour introductory session followed by a 60 or 90-minute design workshop, normally scheduled on a separate day. Programs can be conducted on the Center for Architecture’s Zoom account or your school’s platform. 

Price: $400/class for 2-part program; $300 for NYC public schools; $200 for Title One schools. Introductory session only: half price.

In-Person Programs:

Center for Architecture Design Educator (vaccinated & masked) conducts a 2-hour workshop which combines the introductory session and the hands-on design activity.


At your school: $500/class; $400 for NYC public schools; $300 for Title One schools. Travel costs may be added to the program price. 

At the Center for Architecture: $450/class, $350 for NYC public schools, $250 for Title One schools.

Student Day Program Topics

The Language of Architecture grades K-6

K-12 Student Day, Language of Architecture, 3rd Grade. Photo: Center for Architecture.

Students learn how to “read” buildings for clues about their design and function as they observe and sketch architectural elements on a neighborhood walk (virtual or in-person) customized to your school’s neighborhood.

Follow-Up Design Workshop (60 minutes): Students consider the different types of buildings in a community and design their own 2-D or 3-D neighborhood building. 

Skyscrapers: Structure and Strength grades K–12

K-12 Student Day, Skyscrapers, 5th Grade. Photo: Center for Architecture.

Students learn about the structural systems that support tall buildings as they are guided to analyze examples of skyscrapers from around the world. Students become familiar with key engineering concepts and structural components through discussions, demonstrations, drawing and movement activities.

Follow-Up Design Workshop (60 minutes): Students design and build their own model of a skyscraper’s structural frame using toothpicks, marshmallows, and spaghetti.  

Building Bridges grades 2-12

K-12 Student Day, Building Bridges, 4th Grade. Photo: Center for Architecture.

Students investigate the design and structure of four different bridge types (beam, arch, truss, and suspension) to learn how each works to support the load of traffic and span long distances. Students create labeled drawings of each bridge type, identifying structural components and forces, and gaining an understanding of key engineering concepts.

Follow-Up Design Workshop (90 minutes): Students construct their own working model of a suspension bridge using CFA-provided kits. $5 per student materials fee. (additional shipping costs if outside NYC.) 

Green Architecture grades 3-12

K-12 Student Day, Green Architecture, 3rd Grade. Photo: Center for Architecture.

Students learn about how buildings impact our environment through their energy and resource use and become familiar with sustainable design techniques and principles that can help us create environmentally friendly buildings.

Follow-Up Design Workshop (90 minutes): Students use our Environmental Design Checklist to create a model of their own green structure from recycled materials.  

Scale Model Building grades 6-12

K-12 Student Day, Scale Model Building, 7th Grade. Photo: Center for Architecture.

Students explore how scale is used in architecture to create measured drawings and architectural models, then use these tools to create their own architectural floor plans of an apartment at ½” = 1’ scale. Schools must be able to download and print scale resource materials for students.

Follow-Up Design Workshop (90 minutes): Students turn their 2-D floor plan into a 3-D scale model. 


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