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Student Day workshops are two-hour, hands-on programs for school groups interested in enriching their classroom learning through the disciplines of architecture, engineering, urban planning and design.

Workshops take place Monday-Friday at the Center for Architecture and are adapted to meet the abilities of your K-12 class. Look through our Student Day Curriculum Connections chart to see how these programs support and align with Math, Science, ELA, Social Studies, and Visual Arts Standards.

Program cost is $400 per workshop. NYC public schools are eligible for the negotiated DOE contract price of $350 per workshop. Thanks to grant funding, schools with Title One status are eligible for the discounted price of $250 per workshop.

Questions? Check out our FAQs or contact Dustin Atlas at 212-358-6132 or


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.

Student Day Programs

To begin the reservation process, please fill out a Request Form for your class(es). When a program date has been reserved, you will receive an invoice for your program. In order to finalize your reservation, full payment or a completed DOE Purchase Order must be received within 30 days of the invoice date or two weeks prior to your first program date, whichever comes first. Your reservation will be cancelled if payment is not received by this deadline.

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 through an interactive slide show and neighborhood walk (weather permitting). Using these concepts, students will then design their own scale model of a building to take home.

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 by analyzing existing buildings and participating in hands-on demonstrations. Students put this new knowledge to use as they design, build, and test their own models of a skyscraper’s structural frame.

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. After a series of hands-on demonstrations and drawing activities, each student will construct a working suspension bridge model to take home.

Green Architecture grades 3-12

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

Students learn about a variety of sustainable design techniques used to create environmentally friendly buildings. Working with our modified version of the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) checklist, students create a model of their own green structure. This activity challenges students to think about the importance of site planning, energy efficiency, material conservation, and renewable resources.

Neighborhood Design grades 5-12

Working in small teams, students collaborate to design a model of an ideal neighborhood based on a set of planning and zoning guidelines. Students are challenged to think from the perspective of a particular user group and consider the factors that affect the success and growth of both neighborhoods and cities.

Build a Geodesic Dome grades 5-12

Working as a class, students construct a 14-foot geodesic dome. This elegant structural form, made famous by engineer and inventor Buckminster Fuller, offers a unique opportunity to experience real-life applications of geometry and physics. Students then test out their structural ideas by creating individual scale models inspired by the dome’s geometry. (At least four adult chaperones required.)

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 to create measured drawings and architectural models and then use these tools to design their own apartment at ½” = 1’ scale. This program hones students’ measurement and math skills as they calculate and draw room dimensions to scale and investigate the relationship between 2-D and 3-D figures.

Exhibition Program: Fringe Cities grades 4-12 (available October 2, 2019 to January 17, 2020)

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

Join us for an interactive tour of our exhibition Fringe Cities: Legacies of Renewal in the Small American City to learn how community engagement and urban design can be used to transform cities and urban neighborhoods. This exhibition focuses on issues of urban renewal in four small American cities from the 1950’s until the present. We will explore patterns of displacement, disinvestment, gentrification, and redevelopment through architectural case studies, resident interviews, maps and other primary source materials. Students will be encouraged to make connections to their own urban experiences and answer the essential question, “What makes a good community?”

Program cost is $125 for a 1-hour exhibition tour. This learning experience can be extended with a 1-hour, hands-on design workshop exploring the themes presented in the exhibition for an additional $225 ($125 for Title One Schools).

Exhibition Program: Access for All grades 3-12 (available February 21, 2020 to May 15, 2020)

Join us for an interactive tour of our exhibition Access for All: São Paulo’s Architectural Infrastructures to learn how public spaces, specifically those that provide educational and recreational activities, can be used to improve city life. Using São Paulo, Brazil as a case study, students will build a design vocabulary as they evaluate a wide range of cooperative public projects in São Paolo, then propose their own “urban oases” for New York City inspired by these examples.

Program cost is $125 for a 1-hour exhibition tour. This learning experience can be extended with a 1-hour, hands-on design workshop exploring the themes presented in the exhibition for an additional $225 ($125 for Title One Schools).


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