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K-12 Design Education

Kids Build16 091

Over one weekend each year, more than 700 kids and their families use the design process to build a city at KidsBuild!

Image Credit: Mike Lawrie

We are closing an education gap and believe the next generation of leaders will benefit by acquiring design skills today. We believe that early awareness of architecture/design and thinking like designers are key for future generations to shape the world around them.

Through BSA's K-12 Design Education programming, we engage students, families, and educators across the Boston region. We host workshops, events, and programs at BSA Space, as well as at, and with, our local partners across the city. Our current work continues the legacy of Learning by Design Massachusetts, founded by the BSA in 1999. From its inception through to the present day, these programs aim to equip students with the skills and knowledge of design thinking to think differently about shaping their communities.

Programs vary from custom curricula to workshops and activities for audiences across the K-12 spectrum. No matter the format, our K-12 Design Education programs uses interactive activities to teach students how to evaluate and synthesize information, collaborate, and use creative problem-solving techniques when confronted with real-world challenges.

In addition to programs, we offer many ways for individuals to discover how to use the power of design to make their communities safer, stronger, and more fair. For more on our programs, partners, and ways to get involved, explore below.

Programs

Kindergarten Curriculum
Grade(s): K-2
Partner(s): Boston Public Schools, Cambridge Public Schools

Our Boston: Voices from Kindergarten
Grade(s): K-2
Partner(s): Boston Public Schools

KidsBuild!

Grade(s): K-5
Partner(s): KidsBuild! Planning Committee

Early Career Exploratories
(Coming Soon)
Grade(s): 8-9
Partner(s): Apprentice Learning

Architecture/Design Thinking Week(s)

Grade(s): 9-12
Partner(s): Boston Private Industry Council, Member Firms, Sasaki Foundation

Architecture/Design High School Internships

Grade(s): 9-12
Internship Partner(s): Boston Private Industry Council, Member Firms

Network

BSA K-12 Design Education founded the Design Education Coalition in 2019 to connect with and mutually support local partners providing design education programming. Various universities, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and design centers have been a part of the Coalition and at different stages of their development. Through the Coalition and other avenues, the BSA bolsters the local education ecosystem through program development, facilitation, and outreach.

Current coalition collaborators include Autodesk, Designery/YouthBuild Boston, Digital Ready, Harvard Graduate School of Design's Early Education, MIT Morningside Academy of Design, MassArt Artward Bound, and Sasaki Foundation. Check out each of their unique design programs and offerings.

Resources

K-12 Parents/Teachers
Explore ArchCareersGuide's 2024 Programs

Prospective College Students
Explore BSA's Student Resources and Student Membership

Get Involved

Local architects and designers are essential to the success of the BSA's K-12 Design Education programs. Check out the Volunteer page for current volunteer opportunities and other ways to get involved.

Support

Thank you to those who have supported BSA's K-12 Design Education programs. To support these and other public programs, consider donating to the BSA Foundation.

Questions? Feel free to reach out to Design Education and Engagement Manager, Taylor Johnson, [email protected].

News on K-12 Design Education