I believe that the way people live can be directed a little by architecture.
Tadao Ando


Architecture in the Schools: Hands on Learning

Architecture in the Schools (AIS) matches volunteer architects with public school teachers to enrich the learning experience of children. AIS reinforces core academic skills. AIS teaches children how to exercise their analytical and creative skills through the architectural design process. AIS fosters a heightened civic consciousness, bridging the gap between what is learned in school and everyday life.

AIS has reached more than 20,000 children in metropolitan Washington DC schools all wards of the District since it began in 1992 . In 2003, Virginian schools from Arlington and Fairfax county joined the AIS program. That same year, AIS undertook a special project with Leckie Elementary School.

MV Leckie Elementary School 9/11 Memorial

Related Items

List of Teacher Resources
Download: Join as a Volunteer
Download: Request AIS for Your School


district architecture center programs

Youth and Family Programs
Washington Architectural Foundation offers monthly programs for children and teens at District Architecture Center. “Young Architects Series: Tools of the Trade” teaches young people skills in drawing, model-making, site design, sustainability, theatre set design, and more.  The DAC programs include architectural walking tours of Washington DC neighborhoods. Check the calendar for the monthly listings.

District Architecture Center Youth Programs is supported by the American Architectural Foundation's Accent on Architecture Community Grants Program. www.archfoundation.org


2014 Barbara G. Laurie Scholarship Program

The Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the Washington Architectural Foundation sponsor a scholarship for architecture students. Applicants must be residents of the District of Columbia and completing high school in a public, private or charter school in the District or surrounding region and entering a degree program at a school of architecture as a college freshman in fall 2014.

Architectural Scholarship Application

Constance Whitake Maffin Memorial Fund High School Design Competition

Washington Architectural Foundation in collaboration with the Constance Whitaker Maffin Memorial Fund challenges Phelps Architecture Construction Engineering High School students to design the development, renovation or preservation of a public space in Washington DC. The goal of the annual design competition is to empower youth to care for public space. By exercising their design skills, students will see how they can influence change in their communities. For more information, please contact Beth Judy at 202.347.9403 x302.

Design in Action

Design in Action is a professional mentoring program for DC High School students. Students have the opportunity to work in top architecture firms for one week during their spring break. Under-served youth gain an unparalleled understanding of the architecture profession. The program concludes with a reception for friends and family at District Architecture Center. Students show models and drawings from their work in the firms. Design in Action was started by Washington Architectural Foundation board member Janet Bloomberg, AIA of KUBE Architecture.