by Catherine Teegarden Center for Architecture Foundation
The Center for Architecture Foundation’s K-12 educational programs Learning By Design:NY and StudentDay@theCenter reach more than 4,000 students each year, and have a devoted following of schools and teachers who have made these programs an integral part of their curriculum. The Deutsch Bank Americas Foundation has recognized these unique programs by selecting CFAF to participate in its current Arts & Enterprise grant program, which will provide $50,000 to help CFAF integrate the K-12 Common Core Learning Standards into our educational programs, and expand these programs to more low-income, underserved schools. CFAF is one of about 20 cultural organizations in New York City that were selected for this program based on “a strong vision of supporting underserved communities and a history of educational commitment through both intensive and broad-reaching programs alike.” The grant program includes training for staff and educators on Common Core integration, and a series of working sessions for educational leaders from the cohort to develop a set of best practices for arts and cultural organizations that can be disseminated to the field.
Anyone with children in elementary, middle, or high school will have heard about Common Core, a recent rewrite of K-12 learning standards that aims to improve and equalize instruction across the country to better prepare all students for college and careers. CFAF’s interdisciplinary architecture and design education programs are a natural to support Common Core learning, which emphasizes higher order analytic thinking and problem-solving in a real-world context. As students create and present their own designs for buildings, parks, bridges, and other structures, they use skills and knowledge from core curriculum subjects, and are introduced to career options they may never have considered. And they have fun doing it, so that learning becomes an enjoyable and motivating experience, rather than a required class assignment.
Building Connections, CFAF’s annual exhibition of student design work, highlights the project-based learning that students achieve through Learning By Design:NY in-school residencies and Center-based vacation studio programs. The exhibition opens this Friday, 11.14.14 at the Center for Architecture with a public reception from 6 – 8 pm. The exhibition designers, Design360, have created a fun, interactive display of students’ models, drawings, and writing that aptly conveys the spirit of exploration and discovery inherent in the design process that students experience through these programs. Younger children will enjoy CFAF’s FamilyDay@theCenter program on 12.13.14, where kids will create their own designs based on those in the exhibition and earn a “Junior Architect” badge in the process. High school students interested in pursuing a career in architecture are invited to attend the Architecture and Design College Fair on 11.21.14, 4 – 7 pm at the Center. For more information about any of these programs, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.