The Seattle Architecture Foundation (SAF) provides engaging K-8 STEAM-based programs that inspire young people to deepen their understanding of design and its impact. Through our educational programs, SAF engages youth to explore architecture as a visual record of our collective history, a force that shapes our daily lives, and a blueprint for our future.
SAF works with school and community programs to arrange in-school or off-site architecture workshops, tours, and field trips that are matched to a range of grade levels and educational goals. To learn how SAF meets Common Core and 21st Century Skills download our program guide.
Field Trips with SAF
SAF invites your students to the Center for Architecture and Design to take part in interactive tours and workshops that connect architecture to the region’s history and challenge students to apply design principles to build a more equitable city.
Eye Spy Seattle (suggested for grades K-5): Join us on our Eye Spy Seattle architectural walking tour for a chance to see architectural highlights – old and new – in the heart of Downtown Seattle. Activities keep kids engaged along the way while our guides lead you on a tour with stops including the 5th Avenue Theater and the Central Seattle Public Library.
Skid Row to Skyscrapers (suggested for grades 6-8): Follow the history of Seattle and its buildings as we visit Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods. Students will learn about multiple styles of architecture and get a crash course on the history of Washington’s largest city, chronicling Seattle’s rise from a small logging town to one of the tech capitals of the world. Featured stops include Occidental Square and the Federal Building.
Designed for any age, our hands-on workshops engage students in tackling social, environmental, and engineering challenges. Model-making workshops geared towards grades 3-8 have covered topics such as Floating Communities and Houseboats, Green Building, Homelessness, and Skyscrapers.
SAF Goes to School
Let us come to you! SAF connects programs to communities by partnering with public and private schools, PTAs, and student groups. SAF Design Instructors develop and lead after-school activities that include hands-on activities such as model building as well as group discussions and games about architecture, design, and community issues. These occur as after-school programs or as one-time workshops during class time.
Schools we have provided programming to include: Denny International Middle School, Mercer Middle School, McClure Middle School, Open Window School, Thornton Creek Elementary, and Washington Middle School.
SAF at Summer Camp:
SAF partners with local organizations to offer summer programming for youth. Our classes focus on the architectural process, guiding students from initial conception to final model. Programs can range from one week to four depending on the host.
SAF offers several course options. For example, Designing Seattle takes an in-depth look at the transformations happening in Seattle. Students will then design and build their own structure in response to one of the challenges facing the community. Introduction to Architectural Modeling is a deep dive into architectural modeling. Students create study models out of cardstock and cardboard before moving on to balsa wood and other professional materials. Past partners include Denny International Middle School, the Northwest School, and Coyote Central.
Tools for Educators:
Developed for grades PreK-5, these multi-session lesson plans explore the concepts of creating communities and how people shape spaces.
If you would like to find out more about SAF’s work with schools or groups, please contact our Program Director, Marina Szende at email@example.com.