In 2013, the American Institute of Architects offered repositioning grant opportunities to local chapters all over the United States. These grants creatively address the AIA’s vision of member service, collaboration, and advocacy. The AIA East Tennessee chapter received a grant to teach critical thinking skills to grade school and high school students using the local built environment and the design process. At a time when public school education in the U.S. is in transition, and challenged to meet education goals set forth in Common Core State Standards, architects will find gratifying the prospect of positive intervention by their local AIA chapter

by offering schoolchildren the opportunity to enhance their higher order thinking skills through exposure to the design process. This program will facilitate the learning of critical-thinking skills of students (grades 4-12) by demonstrating how the design process works. The active participation of associate architects (those not yet licensed) and young architects (those recently licensed) will be a high priority in the implementation of the project. These professionals will collaborate with teachers in the classroom to develop presentations and activities useful to their curriculum. Please check out the video and resources offered on our site.