Architecture Courses and Workshops for Kids and High School Students – Archinect

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Are you a parent looking for fun and stimulating summer programs to keep your young ones busy? Are you a high school student excited to explore the world of architecture? With summer just around the corner, there are plenty of architecture-focused initiatives to explore in the coming months. 
For the 2022 summer season, Archinect has created a special two-part feature highlighting architecture programs for all ages. Part I focuses on summer courses and workshops for young minds ready to discover architecture's basics. 

As proven in our Working Out of the Box series, an education in architecture can be invaluable in various pursuits, so it's important to note that enrolling in an architecture summer program doesn't mean they must pursue it as a career choice. These focused programs allow children and teenagers to understand that architecture is all around them. In addition, summer programs, workshops, and intensives help provide students with new skills and ways of seeing the world through developing a sense of spatial awareness, fostering creative thinking, and allowing them to explore their surroundings in a new way.

*Programs below are listed by their start date.


Engineering Fest 2022
Organization
Chicago Architecture Center (Chicaco, IL)
Type: In-Person
Date: May 28
Ages: 8–14 years old
Details: "The annual Engineering Fest is back in person this year! Join us for a day of discovery, as children ages 8–14 are invited to build and learn, view two floors of exhibits, meet engineers and explore how architecture and engineering partner to create the cities we know and love. The theme for this year's festival is Access to Experts, with a focus on the changing climate and the responsibility of engineers and architects in this conversation. Over the course of the day, explore the multiple avenues of the engineering profession through interactive stations and activities." Learn more here.
Camp Architecture and Design
Institution: Knowlton School of Architecture at The Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)
Type: In-Person
Dates: Week 1: June 6–10; Week 2: June 13–17; Week 3: June 20–24
Ages: 3rd–8th graders
Details: "Camp Architecture and Design (CAD) is a one-week program that introduces elementary school-age children grades 3–8 to the world of design. Students will participate in daily activities, including a series of engaging hands-on projects, presentations, and tours. CAD is led by fun and energetic directors, who have previous experience working with youths. Directors are assisted by a team of talented counselors, who are currently enrolled in a partnering higher educational program." Learn more here.
Architecture Camp
Institution:
Ryerson University (Toronto, ON)
Type: In-Person
Dates: July 4–8 & August 22–26; July 11–15 & August 8–12; July 25–28 & August 2–5
Ages: 9–13 years old
Details: "Ryerson’s Department of Architectural Science presents this week-long camp for campers looking to unleash their creativity! Campers learn from some of the top Architectural Science students at Ryerson and participate in innovative and engaging team and individual exercises. Each week features a distinct take-home project that campers work on. Each camper gets to keep their projects at the end of their camp week. This program features time for recreational activities, including use of the Recreation and Athletic Centre gyms, studios, and other spaces." Learn more here.

SoCal NOMA Architecture Summer Camp
Organization: SoCal NOMA (Los Angeles, CA)
Type: In-Person
Dates: July 9, 16, 23, and 30 (Saturdays)
Ages: 10–17 years old
Details: "The Architecture Summer Camp is a 4-day Saturday-only camp for youth aged 10–17. The camp is designed to expose youth to the built environment and architectural profession. As one of the few initiatives in the nation connecting youth and architecture, the camp introduces youth to the people, professions, and ideas that make up the architecture and design profession. Youth are introduced to the practical essential elements of architecture to promote a potential career and vocation in the field. The youth of varying skill levels and interests are asked to work both individually and collaboratively to address community-focused issues through creativity and design innovation. The CAMP has been created to Equip, Empower and Educate Youth through architectural design and engineering techniques and will include sketching, drawing, hands-on model making and walking tours." Learn more here.
Builder Bootcamp
Organization: Girls Garage (Berkeley, CA)
Type: In-Person
Dates: Week 1: July 11–15; Week 2: July 18–22
Ages: 5th–8th graders
Details: "Our Builder Bootcamp program is a weeklong summer camp for girls and gender-expansive youth entering 5th–8th grades. For 2022, we will be moving to a half-day program that focuses on skill-building and a few take-home wood and metal projects that combine creative construction skills and design challenges in response to social challenges. Led by our team of dedicated female and nonbinary staff, who are carpenters, architects, graphic designers, and lifelong educators, students will learn and apply skills in carpentry, graphic design, metalwork, collaboration, and teamwork. Each day, the cohort of students will be split into two sub-groups, one group working on building activities downstairs in our shop space, and one group working on art activities in our upstairs classroom. Halfway through the day’s programming, the groups switch, so that each student has time both in the workshop and art studio each day. Over the course of the week, students will work on and complete individual and collective projects in multiple media: wood, metal, risograph prints, and more. Our instructional pedagogy draws upon decades of experience teaching creative and building-based content." Learn more here.
*Public Art and Architecture
Organization:
Center for Architecture - AIANY (New York, NY)
Type: In-Person
Dates: July 18–22
Ages: 6th–8th graders
Details: "In this program, we’ll explore how public art such as sculptures, murals and other installations work together with the city’s streetscapes to make public spaces more interactive, lively, and fun! Students will visit some of the amazing examples in NYC and learn about others around the globe and test out their own ideas through 2D and 3D design activities. For their final project, students will design and create a model of a public art installation of their own!" Learn more here.
*This is one of the ten summer programs available for kids in the 6th–8th grades. Learn more about AIANY's summer programs here.
*Neighborhood Design
Organization:
Center for Architecture - AIANY (New York, NY)
Type: In-Person
Dates: August 8–12
Ages: 3th–5th graders
Details: "Summer is a great time to explore Greenwich Village. Join us to investigate this fun and exciting neighborhood through scavenger hunts, sketching, architectural rubbings, and more. Participants will then be challenged to create their own designs for an ideal neighborhood." Learn more here.
*This is one of the nine summer programs available for kids in the 3rd– 5th grades. Learn more about AIANY's summer programs here.

Young Women's Design and Building Institute
Organization:
Girls Garage (Berkeley, CA)
Type: In-Person
Dates: Week 1: June 13–17; Week 2: June 20–24
Ages: 9th–12th graders
Details: "The Young Women’s Design and Building Institute is an immersive week-long design/build experience for rising 9th–12th grade girls and gender-expansive youth. The program brings together diverse cohorts of youth to design and build a real-world project for a local nonprofit client over the course of just five days. Previous projects have included furniture for a nearby homeless shelter, sandboxes and wind sculptures for local preschools, and more. Students will learn and hone creative and vocational STEM skills, from carpentry and welding to applied math, screen printing, and architectural drafting. Our work will be complemented by discussions and readings related to identity, making, and community. This program is led by our Executive Director, Emily Pilloton-Lam, along with highly skilled builders, educators, fabricators, and architects who provide personalized mentorship and guidance to every student. No building experience is necessary; we welcome aspiring builders of all skill levels! This program is by application only, at no cost to participants if accepted, and limited to a cohort of 12 students. Priority will be given to students who: a) live locally in the Bay Area, b) have limited financial resources and/or limited access to similar programming in their schools or communities, c) identify as youth of color and/or BIPOC." Learn more here.
High School Design Studio
Institution: Knowlton School of Architecture at The Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)
Type: In-Person
Dates: June 13–24
Ages: 9th–12th graders
Details: "High School Design Studio (HSDS) is a two-week program for High School students grades 9–12 interested in exploring the many fields of study that fall under the umbrella of design. This immersive studio simulates a collegiate-level design studio experience that acclimates students to learning and practicing skills used for developing creative and unique design solutions. Students will work closely with design educators and professionals in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, city and regional planning, interior design, graphic design, industrial design, and engineering." Learn more here.
Introduction to Architecture Summer Program
Institution: Cornell University School of Architecture (Ithaca, NY)
Type: In-Person
Dates: June 18–July 30
Ages: 9th–12th graders
Details: "The Introduction to Architecture Program is an intensive six-week class that introduces high school students to ideas, principles, and methods of exploring architectural problems in a studio setting. Through a graduated sequence of exercises culminating in a final project, students study architectural concepts of space, form, function, environment, and technology. Field trips investigate contemporary architecture within the context of Upstate New York sites of production, fabrication, and resources. High school students spend mornings in lectures and integrated workshops exploring architectural principles including composition, history, preservation, landscape architecture, planning, and urban design. The afternoon studio puts into practice the information learned in morning lectures. The studio is taught in the Rem Koolhaas-designed Milstein Hall, by Department of Architecture faculty members and recent graduates of Cornell's esteemed bachelor's and master's programs. The program also incorporates periodic studio reviews by invited faculty and guest critics. Intensive individual instruction and regular progress reviews prepare students for a final project presentation." Learn more here.

Inside Design
Institution:
Virginia Tech School of Architecture and Design (Blacksburg, VA)
Type: In-Person and Remote
Dates: (In-Person) June 19–24
(Remote) June 26–July 1
Ages: 9th–12th Graders
Details: "Inside Design is an incisive introduction to the ways in which designers think and work. For individuals considering the world of design, this program cracks open the excitement and opportunities of architecture and related design disciplines. Primarily a hands-on experience, students work with long-time educators and practitioners in exercises designed to stimulate discussion and discovery of issues affecting the professions. No prior course or subject experience is necessary, just the initiative to break the bounds of conventional modes of thinking. Over its twenty-year history, the course has been refined and amplified to give high school students one of the best week-long experiences of architecture and design. Faculty learn with the students and adjust coursework based on discoveries from each successive class. The course is modeled around the curriculums of the nationally ranked programs in the School of Architecture + Design (architecture, industrial design, interior design, and landscape architecture)." Learn more here.
Exploration of Architecture
Institution:
University of Southern California School of Architecture-USC (Los Angeles, CA)
Type: In-Person
Dates: June 19–July 16
Ages: 9th–12th graders
Details: "Exploration of Architecture is an immersive 4-week program that engages high school students with architecture thinking and the design process. This program will challenge you to connect more deeply with the built world by providing opportunities to experience and create meaningful places through dynamic learning methods. You will imagine and draw, as well as discover, examine, and analyze architecturally impactful places and buildings. You will gain insights into the profession through talks, conversations, and interviews with leading architects and scholars. The goal of the program is to stimulate you to pursue further education as architects, designers, and scholars who are leaders in your community and beyond. This dynamic program is conducted on campus and taught in person by USC Architecture faculty members. It offers 3 units of college course credit." Learn more here.
embARC Summer Design Academy
Institution:
UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design (Berkeley, CA)
Type: In-Person
Dates: June 21–July 15
Ages: 9th–12th Graders
Details: "embARC is an immersive summer design program at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design that brings together high school students from diverse backgrounds to explore architecture, urban design and sustainable city planning through integrated components: an Architecture + Urban Design Studio, a Sustainable City Planning Workshop, a Digital Design Workshop, an Environmental Design Conversation Series and a Materials Exploration Workshop. No prior experience in environmental design is necessary." Learn more here.

Daniels Design Discovery
Institution:
University of Toronto Daniels Faculty of Architecture (Toronto, ON)
Type: In-Person and Remote
Dates: (In-Person) Session 1: June 27–July 8 & July 11–22, Session 2: July 25–August 5 & August 8–19
(Remote) Session 1: June 27–30, July 4–8, July 11–15, & July 18–22; Session 2: July 25–29, August 2–5, August 8–12 & August 15–19
Ages: 10th–12th graders/ages 15+
Details: "For anyone interested in a future career in design, the Daniels Design Discovery is a great opportunity to experience the intensive studio culture that characterizes most architecture programs. Our programs allow participants to build up a collection of drawings and models that will complement an admissions portfolio. Students are able to use the design facilities at the Daniels Building at 1 Spadina Crescent." Learn more here.
Imagine Architecture
Institution:
Carleton University (Ottowa, ON)
Type: In-Person and Remote
Dates: (In-Person) July 4–8, July 11–15 & July 18–22
(Remote) July 25–29
Ages: 10th–12th graders
Details: "Imagine Architecture is a career exploratory studio for grade 10–12 students who are interested in design and who would like to gain experience in creative design thinking and making. Taught by instructors from Carleton’s architecture program, these fun and intensive workshops will introduce students to the creative culture of design studio, which is at the core of the Architectural Studies curriculum. We are proud to offer exceptional summer programs for high school students interested in architecture, design, and building a portfolio." Learn more here.
Architecture: Tactile Design
Institution:
Tulane University School of Architecture (New Orleans, LA)
Type: In-Person
Dates: July 5–15
Ages: Incoming 11th–12 graders
Details: "This two-week course embraces the tactile facets of the creative design process utilizing hand drawing, mixed media exploration, and physical model making. Students will explore the city with their sketchbook, experiencing the spatial, environmental, and cultural context of New Orleans." Learn more here.

Architecture + Design Summer Academy
Institution:
University of New Mexico School of Architecture + Planning (Albuquerque, NM)
Type: In-Person 
Dates: July 5–9 & July 11–15 and July 18–22 & July 25–29
Ages: 11th–12th graders
Details: "This summer, the School of Architecture + Planning presents Architecture + Design Summer Academy, a new program designed to introduce High School Juniors and Seniors to the disciplines in which the SA+P offers degrees and certificates, preparing them for application to our undergraduate programs. Every week, students will experience real-world design exercises led by guest practitioners and SA+P faculty." Learn more here.
BAC Summer Academy for High School Students
Institution: Boston Architectural College (Boston, MA)
Type: Hybrid
Dates: July 5–29
Ages: 9th–12th graders
Details: "For over 15 years, the BAC's Summer Academy has provided high school students with hands-on design and material exercises. This Summer, the Academy will be offered in two separate formats: an on-site experience, and an asynchronous virtual experience. On-campus* students will experience live lectures, exercises, site and professional firm visits around Boston, and hands-on design and building in teams. Virtual students will explore case study buildings, attend site and professional firm visits through video streaming and chat, and will also receive kits of materials and supplies to allow them to participate in the hands-on design and building wherever they may be. All students will have access to the latest in design software and computing through either our on-site computer labs or the BAC’s VDI CloudLab." Learn more here.
Design Immersion Days (DID)
Institution: SCI-Arc (Los Angeles, CA)
Type: In-Person and Online
Dates: July 5–29
Ages: 9th–12th graders
Details: "Design Immersion Days (DID) is an immersive four-week summer program that introduces high school students to design and architecture. It is intended to inspire curiosity about the world of design, introduce basic design knowledge and critical thinking skills, and familiarize students with the expansive architecture and design culture of Los Angeles." Learn more here.

Architecture Discovery Program
Institution:
Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, MO)
Type: In-Person
Dates: July 10–23
Ages: Incoming 11th–12th graders
Details: "The Architecture Discovery Program (ADP) is an exciting introduction to architecture and design for high school students. Our rigorous two-week program offers intensive individual instruction by Sam Fox School faculty. The explorations carried out to provide you with quality material to add to your design portfolios. The heart of the program, Design Studio drives creativity and discovery to foster passion and compassion in design. You’ll learn how sustainability and the built environment are shaping the practice of architecture. Over the course of the program, you’ll undertake a series of short design exercises that will introduce you to the design thinking process, culminating in an architectural project for review by faculty and guest critics." Learn more here.
Introduction to Interior Design
Institution:
NJIT Hillier College of Architecture and Design (Newark, NJ)
Type: In-Person
Dates: July 10–29
Ages: 9th–12th graders
Details: "Interior design is not just about how a space looks, but also our experience inside of that space whether commercial, retail, hospitality, healthcare, or residential. This program will introduce students to interior design through hands-on work, basic design-build principles, the use of varying materials in a space, and field trips to experience and see the work of practicing interior designers. At the end of the one-week program, students will present a final project to their peers and faculty in the format of a typical college-level interior design studio review." Learn more here.
*The Introduction to Architecture summer program is full. Click here to be put on the July 10–15 waitlist, and click here for the July 17–22 waitlist.
TeenArch Studio
Institution:
UCLA Architecture and Urban Design (Los Angeles, CA)
Type: In-Person
Dates: July 11–29
Ages: 9th–12th graders
Details: "TeenArch Studio is a three-week architecture experience for high school students interested in exploring architectural and design thinking. The program carries three-quarters units of University of California credit. TeenArch Studio is open to students who are 14 years of age or older prior to June 22, 2022, and enrolled in grades 9 through 12 during Spring 2022." Learn more here.

HiArch 2022 Summer High School Program
Institution:
School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Type: In-Person and Remote
Dates: (In-Person) July 11–15 & July 18–22
(Remote) June 11–July 15
Ages: 9th–12th graders
Details: "HiArch is a summer architecture program designed to introduce high school students to the culture of architecture, design, thinking, and making. Taught by faculty members and graduate students in the UIC School of Architecture, HiArch builds foundational skills in architectural drawing, design, and problem-solving. In the program, students work through design exercises, receive one-on-one feedback from instructors and current UIC students, and engage in group discussions and tutorials. HiArch is designed to be an introduction to studying architecture at the college level, though students do not need to have previous experience with drafting or model-making techniques." Learn more here.
Architecture: Digital Design
Institution:
Tulane University School of Architecture (New Orleans, LA)
Type: In-Person
Dates: July 18–29
Ages: Incoming 11th–12th graders
Details: "This course explores the realms of digital design, representation, and production as a means of communicating information in a visual and compelling way. Students will learn the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign) as well as 3d modeling software to express their design ideas. Students will have the opportunity to work with innovative digital tools within our digital laboratory to compile a portfolio of work that is lively, relevant, and professional." Learn more here.
Advanced Design/Build
Organization:
Girls Garage (Berkeley, CA)
Type: In-Person
Dates: July 31–August 6
Ages: 9th–12th graders
Details: "Our Advanced Design/Build program is a year-round cohort of our most committed builder girls. This cohort brings together 9th-12th grade girls from diverse backgrounds to tackle complex, community-based projects designed and built by girls themselves. Over three after-school seasons and one week of summer programming each year, this team of high school girls embarks on our most ambitious design and construction projects for local community clients, seeing projects from conception and design development to construction documentation and on-site project construction. By applying math, science, carpentry, drafting, welding, and leadership skills, projects from the Advanced Design/Build program challenge girls to create and complete an architectural project that will live in the world for years to come. Girls from this program have built a greenhouse, furniture for a women’s shelter, a public parklet for a local restaurant, and a chicken coop-in-progress. Most participants in the Advanced Design/Build cohort have been coming to Girls Garage for many years and express great interest in STEM, design, architecture, or trades careers. This program also puts girls in a position of leadership and activism, voicing their ideas in public arenas and with real clients. We work hard to support this advanced cohort with supplementary discussions and lessons related to confidence, fear, career pathways, college applications, how to apply for a job or put together a resume, and more. We also hold a safe space for intimate conversations about identity, confidence, and navigating the world as a young woman." Learn more here.
ONE Lab Summer Studio
Institution: Terreform ONE (Brooklyn, NY)
Type: In-Person/Remote
Dates: June 20–July 28
Ages: 9th–12th graders
Details: "ONE Lab Summer Studio is an in-person and online design studio that illustrates the environmental possibilities of the built environment. Courses focus on the future of bio design across architecture, urban design, and fashion to help students develop skills to think creatively, effectively design projects, and get hands-on experience with living materials. You will prepare for college, your career, and beyond in person or online. Students join us for two weeks of exploration, connection, and insight which they use to cultivate a final portfolio of two to three industry-panel reviewed designs. No prior experience in environmental design is necessary." Learn more here.

It's to be noted that this list is merely a large sample set of what summer opportunities are out there. The number of programs available for young people to explore architecture for themselves, however, is exciting to recognize. It's also important to mention the programs' coordinators, organizers, instructors, and volunteers who dedicate their time to teaching and empowering young minds.

Interested in promoting your school or organization's summer program on Archinect? Reach out to us at [email protected]
Katherine Guimapang
Katherine is an LA-based writer, editor, and visual artist. As a writer, she focuses on architecture's relationship to media and cultural studies, social policy, urbanism, and behavioral economics. Her design interests involve blending art, narrative environments, and lighting design. Her work has ...
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