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

Through these interactive workshops led by Center for Architecture Design Educators, students explore the program topic through inquiry-based investigations of architectural examples, drawing, movement, and design activities. Students then apply what they have learned to create their own designs on the program theme. Programs may be booked at the Center for Architecture or as virtual sessions. See below for more information.

All programs include a Resource Packet with additional information, extension activities, and links to curriculum standards in Math, Science, ELA, Social Studies, and Visual Arts.

Student Day Field Trips have concluded for the 2021-2022 year and are not available during the summer. Bookings for the 2022-2023 academic year will open on September 12, 2022.

Vaccination and Mask Policy*: All visitors 5 and older must be fully vaccinated in order to attend in-person programs and will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination (with photo ID for adults) to enter the Center for Architecture. All staff, program participants, and visitors will be required to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.

* Exception for NYC K-12 school groups: Students ages 5+ attending a K-12 school located within New York City may attend a Student Day workshop at the Center without displaying proof of vaccination if they are participating in school or after-school program sponsored by their school or a New York City agency. However, all accompanying teachers and chaperones age 18+ must show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and a valid photo ID to enter.

Questions? Please contact Breanna Katsman, Education Program Coordinator at 212-358-6127 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, and Con Edison.

2021 - 2022 Format Options

In-Person Programs at the Center for Architecture

2-hour workshop which includes all design materials.

Price: $450/class, $350 for NYC public schools, $250 for Title One schools.

Virtual Programs

Our virtual programs are split into two parts: a 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. Schools supply the recommended materials or can purchase kits from the Center for Architecture.

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

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 walk via Google Earth; in-person walk, weather permitting, at the program location.) 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, then 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. Students construct their own working model of a suspension bridge (Virtual programs: $5 per student materials fee for CFA bridge kits; additional shipping costs if outside NYC.)

Green Architecture* grades 3-12, *special 2022 discount available!

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. Students use our Environmental Design Checklist to create a model of their own green structure. (Students are encouraged to provide their own recycled materials for model-building.)

Thanks to generous support from ConEdison, our two-part virtual Green Architecture Student Day programs are free for Title One schools and half-price for all other schools. In-person Green Architecture programs are discounted by 50% for all schools.

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. Students the turn their 2-D floor plan into a 3-D scale model.