K-12 Outreach Committee

Purpose and tasks

Our purpose is to introduce architecture to primary and secondary students, to broaden an understanding of the profession’s contributions to our communities, and to encourage and mentor those interested in a career in architecture and design.

Committee Members

Megan Chafin, Chair
Jeremiah Corbett, Member
Alyssa Nealon, Member
Sarah Peacock, Member

Angela Berrier, Member
Justin Hare, Member
Michael Travis, Member
Cody Rau, President of AIA ETN

Jen McMahon, CED of AIA ETN

Programs and Initiatives

AIA East Tennessee’s Future Faces of Design Scholarship to attend UTK College of Architecture and Design’s Summer Design Camp® 2023

Rising high school sophomores, juniors, seniors, or recent graduates within Tennessee and ages 15 years or older.

The American Institute of Architects East Tennessee Chapter is excited to announce that our Future Faces of Design Scholarship is open and ready to support students from historically underrepresented demographics in architecture. Our Future Faces of Design Scholarship provides students with the opportunity to pursue their interest in the field and shape the future of the profession as well as seek to improve the built environment.

The scholarship includes a one-time award for the cost to attend UTK College of Architecture and Design’s Summer Design Camp® 2023 and includes the cost of tuition and room and board.

Applications are now closed. Check back next year!

Learn More


Grades 6 – 8
Approximately 3 weeks or 6 class periods

PAWchitecture is architecture for animals! Architects work with a client to create a design that is perfect for them. During PAWchitecture, students select an animal, research its origins and characteristics, then create an animal model and build its house to scale. The student will also create a Power Point presentation to tell what was learned and how the design progressed. Critical skills: research, design thinking, drawing to scale, execution of a concept, presentation skills. Share pictures with us!

Go To 2033

Approximately 4 weeks or 8 class periods
Grades 8 – 12

Go to 2033 is a planning tool. Based on the General Plan for Knoxville/Knox County, students will engage in the history of Urban Planning, learn about the 1909 Plan of Chicago, co-authored by Daniel Burnham and Edward H. Bennett and its continued influence on that city today. If there is a long-term plan for your city or county, the program will easily adapt to it, making it more relevant. Students are introduced to urban planning, landscape design, and design thinking as a problem-solving exercise. Additionally, students learn to understand the legal aspects of project planning, such as working with city/county officials. A problem is identified, teams develop solutions and present their findings in front of an architect and a government official. Actual projects may be undertaken by teams, if there is sufficient time and support.

Build the Block

1.5 – 2 hour single activity
Grades 6 – adult

Build the Block is a role-playing, decision-making game that demonstrates the impact architects can make on communities. In the game, a local architect will lead student teams tasked with identifying the best use of an empty, overgrown lot. Together, the team will analyze community metrics, strategize solutions, and make critical decisions related to improving the property. The ultimate goals is to build a facility that will most enhance the community.

Knoxville Bound

Varies, depending upon if entire books are read as part of the assignment
Grades 9 – 12

Knoxville Bound looks at the city from the perspective of famous writers who called Knoxville home. From James Agee to Cormac McCarthy, visit the places that influenced their stories and their lives–whether in person or via Google Maps! Read excerpts from their novels that talk about the city and see if you can discover the changes in the city that have come about since the period in which the stories were written.

Career Fairs
Grades 6 – 12

Career Fairs introduce students to architecture and design-related professions. AIA and AIA Associate members can share what a typical day in the life of an architect

K-12 Resources

How to Become an Architect

How to Become an Architect: https://www.ncarb.org/become-architect/destination-architect

What is an Architect? : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAr0fPr-emI

I want to be an Architect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvewCudtFZs

 Guide to Helping Students Consider a Career in Architecture (resource for K-12 School Counselors and Educators): https://www.ncarb.org/press/new-resources-released-to-help-students-explore-careers-architecture

Guide to a Career in Architecture (resource for the next generation of architects): https://www.ncarb.org/sites/default/files/GuidetoArchCareer.pdf

Resources for Teachers and Counselors


Have a question for our K-12 Committee or want to learn more about one of our programs? Fill out our form below and we will get back to you as soon as we can!

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