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ABOUT      PROGRAMS     RESEARCH     RESOURCES     PEOPLE

Every person follows their own educational journey that doesn’t end when they obtain a degree. The Center for Architecture Explorations believes that education occurs beyond the walls of a classroom and that the School of Architecture’s role is to help cultivate life-long learners working at the intersection of arts and technology.

The Center for Architecture Explorations (CAE) develops research, programs, and products that serve unique Kindergarten-professional architectural education paths. The CAE builds on our School’s experience with youth education, university service learning projects, engagement with the architectural practice, and academic research to explore ways we can support architectural education pedagogy and foster equity and diversity in building industry professions.  


About the Center

The Center for Architecture Explorations (CAE) is managed by the Director of Outreach, Samantha Weaver, and Program Coordinator, Julie Kachniasz. The CAE oversees Pittsburgh's Architecture Learning Network (ALN), a collaboration between over 10 non-profits in the region, and is advised by an Education Committee comprised of architects, architecture students, parents, faculty, and educators. The ALN and Education Committee support architecture education with the goal of meeting the needs of learners at every stage of their life.

The CAE's mission is: 1) to expand our work managing the Architecture Learning Network to facilitate links between building industry organizations, K-12 educators, and K-12 students, particularly in underserved neighborhoods; 2) to provide scalable training courses, workshops, and mentorship opportunities for professionals and undergraduate/graduate students to better prepare them to teach in K-12 and higher education contexts as well as better communicate with the communities they serve as designers; and 3) to conduct research into STEM and design pedagogy to develop innovative educational materials and curricula for an entire architecture education pipeline. 


Programs, Courses, & Workshops

The Center for Architecture Explorations offers K-12 and professional development workshops and synthesizes university service learning activities.

K-12 Youth Programs

The CAE youth programs is a collection of architecture-based extracurricular and academic enrichment programs for students in kindergarten through high school. The mission of CAE's youth programs is to provide an architectural foundation for children and youth which imparts a knowledge and appreciation of the built environmental, encourages creative expression and critical thought, and inspires civic responsibility. The CAE is an APOST Quality Campaign Member and all youth programs are part of the Architecture Learning Network.

Registration for the Fall K-12 Saturday Sequence session is NOW OPEN! The program is 9:30 - 12:30, Saturdays, October 13 - December 8 (skipping November 24), on CMU's campus in the College of Fine Arts building. The cost is currently $175 a student for the Earlybird rate that changes to $190 on September 15th. The cost is $150/child if a family is signing up more than 1 child - the coupon code is MULTIPLE. A Scholarship is also available on a financial need basis and families can apply by contacting Director, Samantha Weaver <sbweaver@cmu.edu>.

 The CAE fall  K-12   Saturday Sequence  emphasizes the problem-solving skills central to the architectural design process and guides students through an architectural project, while our spring  6-12 Saturday Sequence  focuses on skill building and mini-workshops.

The CAE fall K-12 Saturday Sequence emphasizes the problem-solving skills central to the architectural design process and guides students through an architectural project, while our spring 6-12 Saturday Sequence focuses on skill building and mini-workshops.

 Through CAE  Tours and Workshops , you can travel to CMU’s campus and learn more about our School of Architecture program, the career of an architect, and any specific interest topic. Past tours have explored architecture and technology, green roofs, and sustainability.  Register for a Tour and/or Workshop today !

Through CAE Tours and Workshops, you can travel to CMU’s campus and learn more about our School of Architecture program, the career of an architect, and any specific interest topic. Past tours have explored architecture and technology, green roofs, and sustainability. Register for a Tour and/or Workshop today!

 The CAE offers workshops at schools, libraries, and community centers year-round through the  EQUIP Architecture Backpacks  program. Sign up and an architectural professional will visit your site and teach concepts such as design thinking, spatial abilities, and communication.

The CAE offers workshops at schools, libraries, and community centers year-round through the EQUIP Architecture Backpacks program. Sign up and an architectural professional will visit your site and teach concepts such as design thinking, spatial abilities, and communication.

 The CAE partners with the Carnegie Museum of Art to offer a variety of week-long  summer art and architecture camps .&nbsp;During camp, the museum’s Heinz Architectural Center becomes a classroom, and displays work from the museum’s permanent collection to inspire architectural projects.&nbsp;

The CAE partners with the Carnegie Museum of Art to offer a variety of week-long summer art and architecture camps. During camp, the museum’s Heinz Architectural Center becomes a classroom, and displays work from the museum’s permanent collection to inspire architectural projects. 

  Pre-College Architecture  is an intensive and immersive summer program at Carnegie Mellon University that engages high school students in the creative energy and speculative culture of the college-level experience in studying the discipline of architecture.&nbsp;

Pre-College Architecture is an intensive and immersive summer program at Carnegie Mellon University that engages high school students in the creative energy and speculative culture of the college-level experience in studying the discipline of architecture. 

 The CAE also offers additional youth programs based on funding from different organizations, including  Summer Dreamers Academy  supported by United Way. Check our e-Newsletters and our website for new program announcements.

The CAE also offers additional youth programs based on funding from different organizations, including Summer Dreamers Academy supported by United Way. Check our e-Newsletters and our website for new program announcements.

soa service learning Projects & courses

The School of Architecture (SoA) offers undergraduate and graduate students many opportunities to work on projects that have real impact on communities and stakeholders. SoA also works with the Design Center and CMU's Gelfand Center for Service Learning and Outreach to offer courses that support outreach, education, and non-profit work after graduation. We have highlighted several courses below. Please contact the CAE Director of Outreach, Samantha Weaver, for more information about all of our service learning courses.

Professional Development Workshops

The Center for Architectural Explorations offers professional development workshops for university students and building industry professionals. The workshops were developed and are implemented in partnership with CMU's Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation, Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time (APOST), and Pittsburgh's chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The workshops have two goals: 1) provide architects with knowledge and skills to teach and 2) provide knowledge and skills in emerging architectural technologies. Workshops take place in August, February, and May. You can also refer to the School of Architecture calendar and/or Architecture Learning Network calendar for a list of dates and links to register.

  • Act 153 Clearances & Classroom Management
  • Learning Styles & Active Learning
  • Collaboration & Conflict Resolution
  • Emerging Technologies: Drones & Point Cloud Scanning
  • Emerging Technologies: AR/VR
  • Emerging Technologies: Internet of Things

Architectural Education Research

The Center for Architecture Explorations focuses on research into equity and diversity in architectural education and professions, systems thinking and spatial intelligence, and design thinking and assessment.

Current Work

 EQUITY &amp; DIVERSITY  Professor Dr. Erica Cochran Hameen and CAE Director, Samantha Weaver, are currently pursuing funding to learn more about the attitudinal effects of matched/same gender or race building industry professional mentors on middle school students in STEM classes.

EQUITY & DIVERSITY

Professor Dr. Erica Cochran Hameen and CAE Director, Samantha Weaver, are currently pursuing funding to learn more about the attitudinal effects of matched/same gender or race building industry professional mentors on middle school students in STEM classes.

 SPATIAL INTELLIGENCE  CAE staff are looking at ways to improve elementary students' spatial skills through a game about vertical estimation. How can making predications and thinking critically about heights of trees, buildings, and other objects help students have better judgement when designing spaces?

SPATIAL INTELLIGENCE

CAE staff are looking at ways to improve elementary students' spatial skills through a game about vertical estimation. How can making predications and thinking critically about heights of trees, buildings, and other objects help students have better judgement when designing spaces?

 DESIGN THINKING &amp; ASSESSMENT  With the surge of "makerspaces" in the United States, how are students connecting their learning experiences, documenting their work, and receiving feedback? The CAE is exploring ways to support portfolio making and the documentation and assessment process.

DESIGN THINKING & ASSESSMENT

With the surge of "makerspaces" in the United States, how are students connecting their learning experiences, documenting their work, and receiving feedback? The CAE is exploring ways to support portfolio making and the documentation and assessment process.


Educational Resources & Products

The Center for Architecture Explorations would like to share links to resources and products that we use that support architecture education, from kindergarten through professional careers.

List for Youth

List for Professionals

List for Colleges

*We are currently working on making some of our CAE lesson plans and learning tools available for purchase. We look forward to making the announcement in the coming year.


CAE Staff, Sponsors, & Partners

CAE Sponsors:

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CAE Partners:

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