National Architecture Week 2018 Call for Volunteers

February 15, 2018

National Architecture Week 2018 Call for Volunteers

AIA NJ is celebrating National Architecture Week, April 8-14, by bringing our award-winning AIA 150 Architects in Schools Program back to the classrooms.

 

This year, President Verity Frizzell, FAIA, has chosen a partnership between Equity and Education as her theme.  Here is what she has to say…

 

“Several people have asked me what my theme or agenda is for the year. Mostly it is to continue the great work of all those who came before me, but there is one initiative I think is important.  We have talked a lot over the past several years about raising public awareness and improving the profession.  We have made some definite strides, but we have a long way to go before we stop hearing ‘I’m told I need an architect, but I don’t know what you do’ from our prospective clients.  I believe that the future of our profession, indeed of all professions, and the key to solving these challenges lies in our youth. If we can teach kids from all backgrounds the value of architects and architecture from a young age, not only will they make better clients one day, but some of them might want to become architects too.  As Michelle Obama said in her speech at the National convention in Orlando ‘They don’t even know what an architect is, let alone that they could be one.’  To that end, I want to start a statewide K-12 education program that touches as many kids from as many areas as possible. From my work on the Equity in Architecture Commission, I know that AIA National has restarted a significant effort in this area, and will be making a lot of resources available, so now is the perfect time to start.  However, I will need the help of everyone in the organization, because it’s no small task. But it is one we can accomplish together. One after school program, or assembly, or field trip at a time.”

 

 

To simplify the launch of AIA NJ’s K-12 initiative, we are offering a single, model program that can easily be shared by our members. Later in the year, we will be expanding our offerings and opportunities.

 

We invite all of our members to get involved!

 

Here’s How…

 

  1. Choose a middle school in your community and contact the school administration or faculty to schedule your presentation. Do this immediately!  It may be the hardest part of the process. The ideal arrangement is to present any day or time the week of April 8th in a classroom with a smartboard, 15-30 kids, 5-8 grade, and 45-90 minutes. Hopefully, you can stay all day and present each class period, sharing the program with hundreds of children! If these options are not available, choose what works best for you and the school. You can cut and paste the following “letter” into its own document that may be used to introduce the school to the program. If you do not have a particular school in mind, we recommend choosing a disadvantaged school that might not have the opportunity to learn about architecture and architects on a usual basis. Our committee can also assist you in selecting a school. If you are low-tech, we have options for that, too!  Do not be intimidated by the smartboard 🙂
  2. Choose to attend the training session at NJIT on March 5th from 7-9PM or at Rowan University on March 6th from 7-9PM. Plan to bring a laptop or tablet with you, if possible. We will be showing you how to use the software specially designed for this program, and give you sample ideas of how and what to present. More details will be provided to registrants.
  3. E-mail Lori Lee at llee@njpsi.com to register as a participant. Tell her your name, phone, e-mail, school you are presenting to, date of presentation and what date you are attending training.
  4. Start spreading the word about your upcoming program! Announce it on social media, your website or blog. E-mail your friends and associates to let them know NATIONAL ARCHITECTURE WEEK is coming!

 

Questions? Contact Equity in Architecture Chair, Stacey Ruhle Kliesch, AIA, at staceykliesch@gmail.com.

 

Sample letter to schools:

 

February 15, 2018

 

Dear Principal,

 

April 8-14, 2018 is National Architecture Week here in America. Events, activities, and announcements will be taking place across the country to celebrate and educate on the subject. The American Institute of Architects New Jersey (AIA NJ) Chapter has chosen an Architects In Schools Program to present to middle schoolers all over our great state to share the message with you and your students. Your school was selected to be offered this free, educational program.

 

This program is coming to you from the AIA NJ Equity in Architecture Committee. The objective is to share the message with the children of New Jersey that opportunity and creativity are available for all, and that they can make a difference in their communities TODAY and be the next generation of AIA NJ Architects TOMORROW. You will find that a lesson on architecture is a perfect STEAM enrichment course and should complement your current curriculum.

 

According to our President, Verity L Frizzell, FAIA, “If we can teach kids from all backgrounds the value of architects and architecture from a young age, not only will they make better clients one day, but some of them might want to become architects, too.  As Michelle Obama said in her speech at the National convention in Orlando ‘They don’t even know what an architect is, let alone that they could be one.’”

 

This program has been custom designed by AIA NJ and offers the students a peek into the career of architecture and a lesson in town planning. We will discuss the vocabulary words URBAN, SUBURBAN, and RURAL. We will look at design strategies that make up healthy communities, and then the students will have a go at laying out a successful town. Should time allow, each team will get to present their town plan to the rest of the class.

 

The ideal arrangement for this presentation is for me to present the week of April 8th in a classroom with a smartboard, 15-30 kids, 5-8 grade, and 45-90 minutes. If these options are not available, I am happy to adjust my lesson to suit your schedule and arrangement.

 

Thank you for considering allowing AIA NJ and our program into your school.

 

Sincerely,

 

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