AIA Educational Outreach to Local Schools

AIA Think

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 at!


Go To 2033

Gene Burr and AIA East TN Chapter was awarded a $1,500 grant from the American Architectural Foundation Accent on Architecture Community Grant Program. This grant has funded the creation of “Go To 2033” a Knox County Student Manual / Teacher Guide intended for middle school instruction. Suzanne Wedekind of West Valley Middle School authored the publication working closely with Mike Carberry and Metropolitan Planning Commission planners.

The manual’s intent is to educate and engage future voters of the Knoxville area. The manual was inspired by “Wacker’s Manual of the Plan of Chicago” which was in turn based on Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett’s “Plan of Chicago” in 1909.

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