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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.

During the school year, 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. Student Day workshops are not offered in the summer.

Program cost is $350 per workshop. Title I schools are eligible for the discounted price of $250 per workshop. Registration for the 2019-2020 academic year will open in August.

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


Student Day is supported, in part, by Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council, The Architects Foundation and Armstrong World Industries Foundation.

Student Day Programs

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 Programs grades 2-12

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

Students investigate contemporary architectural topics and their relevance to our daily lives on an age-appropriate, one-hour exhibition tour led by our design educator. This learning experience can be extended with a one-hour, hands-on workshop exploring the themes presented in the exhibition. Please visit our Exhibitions page for information on current and upcoming exhibitions at the Center for Architecture.


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