Design/Building Professionals & Architecture Students: Apply ASAP

Teacher deadline: November 6

Participate in the 2020-21 Architects in Schools Season

Introduce elementary school students to the power and possibilities of design through the Architecture Foundation of Oregon Architects in Schools program! Through the use of design based lessons, this program creates lifelong learners and critical thinkers who have a greater understanding of their environment and its impact on people’s lives.

Architects in Schools (AiS) matches design and building professionals including architects, engineers, contractors, interior designers, landscape architects, city planners, architecture historians, architecture students and more with 3rd, 4th & 5th grade teachers to provide design education for youth. AiS is offered free of charge to schools.

Students participating in AiS learn important skills through lessons that include cooperation and planning, connect to the Oregon Academic Content Standards, Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards and help to gain a better sense of how school relates to the real world.

Apply through our new application platform called Submittable by making a free account. You will be able to save a draft of your application as you work through it. Apply now.

COVID-19 Update

The pandemic will not stop us from being a resource for Oregon schools and teachers! We are planning an Architects in Schools structure for the 2020-21 school year that can best serve students, assist teachers and engage design & building professionals and architecture students in a safe and supportive way.

We know this has been an unpredictable time and that teachers are planning to continue with distance learning this fall. We are prepared to support each class’ individual needs – whether a school ends up following a hybrid in-classroom/distance learning model or an all distance learning model.

We also know that design & building professionals and architecture students are interested in supporting teachers and youth during this time, but want to do so in a way that works best for schools.

Below you will find the several ways you can participate in Architects in Schools this year.

See the work of our 2019-20 AiS students

Why Should You Participate?

A very strong bridge built by 3rd graders at St. Pius X School in Portland

Students need AiS now more than ever before. Distance learning often comes with disengagement from school studies, especially at the elementary level. AiS provides teachers with lessons and resources to engage students in a non-traditional and creative way.

AiS is proven to make the highest impact on low-income students and non-traditional learners including special education, English learners and visual and tactile learners.

We are prepared to work with unknowns and unique classroom situations. We had several design & building professionals work with classes during distance learning last spring, and they found that students were especially appreciative and excited about their time. AiS helped them engage in school in a way that was not otherwise available to them during their virtual instruction.

Check out some of the work completed by our 2019-20 AiS students during distance learning, here!

Volunteer Spotlight

Peter van der Meulen
ZGF Architects

Why is participating in Architects in Schools important to you?

“Architecture addresses concepts that kids love: art, craft, technology, all in a creative blend of wonder and practicality, physical form and function. This is not adequately taught in Portland Public Schools at the elementary school level, when so many young minds are more than hungry and ready for this stimulation.” Learn more about Architects in Schools

Ways to Participate

4th & 5th graders at Metropolitan Learning Center in Portland, learning about architecture school and constructing models

Below are the several ways you can participate or volunteer in the 2020-21 AiS season. If you have an idea about how to participate this school year that is not listed, feel free to contact AFO staff.

If you are new to AiS and have any questions about how to make it work in your classroom, we encourage you to contact AFO staff so we can assist you.

Apply through our new application platform called Submittable by making a free account. You will be able to save a draft of your application as you work through it. Apply now.

Teachers, please keep in mind that we will work with you to make AiS work for your classroom, no matter if you are teaching through distance learning, in the classroom, or a hybrid model.

First-time AiS teachers who apply to participate through options 3-5, you will be required to participate in a 1.5 hour live virtual orientation in November or January. Scroll down for more information on AiS orientations.

If you choose options that involve a partnership (options 3-5), AFO staff will match you with a design & building professional who requests similar options. We will offer support for partnerships and assist your team with planning sessions to make sure AiS is best serving you and your students.

Teachers who complete a 6-week virtual or in-person residency will be eligible to receive graduate credit.

When you apply you will be able to select one or more of the following options for participating in AiS:

OPTION 1: Provide design education for my students without the input of a design & building professional using the Architecture Foundation of Oregon’s online materials including selected lesson plans, pre-recorded videos and design challenges.

OPTION 2: Provide design education for my students with limited input of a design & building professional (they will serve as a one-time consultant prior to you using AiS content with your students) using the Architecture Foundation of Oregon’s online materials including selected lesson plans, pre-recorded videos and design challenges.

OPTION 3: Partner with a design or building professional to plan a virtual residency including three to six sessions (typically an hour long session per week) while students are in distance learning or are in the classroom but outside visitors are not allowed. This would include live video sessions via the web-based platform your class uses during distance learning where the design & building professional interacts with you and the students.

OPTION 4: Partner with a design & building professional to provide one to two virtual sessions while students are in distance learning or are in the classroom but outside visitors are not allowed. This would include live video sessions via the web-based platform your class uses during distance learning where the design & building professional interacts with you and the students.

OPTION 5: Partner with a design & building professional to design a custom in-person residency including three to six sessions (typically an hour long session per week) in the event that in-person AiS sessions are possible in the latter half of the school year.

Apply Now

Application Deadline: November 6

Design & building professionals and architecture students, we want to make sure you feel confident and comfortable about participating, so please let us know if you have any concerns about the options listed below.

Please note, if you sign up for option 1 or 2 to participate in AiS virtually, you may be placed with any school around Oregon that is also participating virtually. Virtual participation allows us to reach students in geographic areas that are typically hard for us to access through in-person residencies. By participating virtually, you are helping make AiS more accessible to students that might not normally receive programming like this or have exposure to professionals in the field!

Please note, virtual sessions will occur through the web-based platform that is used by the school you are paired with, since it will already be set up for the students and will be vetted according to district guidelines.

First-time AiS volunteers are required to participate in a 1.5 hour live virtual orientation in November or January. Scroll down for more information on AiS orientations.

After you apply, AFO staff will match you with a teacher who requests similar options. We will offer support and assist your team with planning sessions to make sure AiS is best serving you, your teacher partner and the students.

When you apply you will be able to select one or more of the following options for participating in AiS:

OPTION 1: Partner with a teacher to plan a virtual residency including three to six sessions (typically an hour long session per week) while students are in distance learning. This would include live video sessions via a web-based platform used by the school, where you interact with the students and teacher.

OPTION 2: Partner with a teacher to provide one to two virtual sessions while students are in distance learning. This would include live video sessions via a web-based platform used by the school, where you interact with the students and teacher.

OPTION 3: Partner with a teacher to design a custom in-classroom residency including one to six sessions where you present to the class virtually in the event that students are able to be in the classroom in the latter half of the school year, but schools will not allow outside visitors.

OPTION 4: Partner with a teacher to design a custom in-classroom residency including three to six sessions (typically an hour long session per week) in the event that in-person AiS sessions are possible in the latter half of the school year.

Apply Now

Contact Us

Kim Ruthardt Knowles
Associate Director, Architects in Schools
kim@af-oregon.org
503-317-7537

Candice Agahan
Education Program Manager
candice@af-oregon.org
503-542-3823

Virtual Orientations

All first-time AiS volunteers and teachers (only including teachers who apply to partner with a design & building professional) are required to attend a 1.5-hour virtual webinar orientation. If you fit this criteria and cannot attend one of the following sessions, please notify AFO staff after applying.

Orientation Dates – please plan to attend one of the following virtual orientations:

  • Saturday, November 14, 9:30-11am
  • Tuesday, November 17, 4:30-6pm

Virtual Orientation Agenda:

  • Program Basics
  • AiS Curriculum Guide Overview
  • AiS Teacher/Design & Building Professional Partnerships
  • How to Integrate AiS into Classroom Curriculum for Teachers
  • How to Present to Students on Video Chat Software for Design & Building Professionals

Student Spotlight

Sophie
4th grade Creative Science School

“My favorite part was working with my classmates to build a community.”