On the Road Collaborative – Architectural Academy

Deborah and I are teaching an architectural academy for On the Road Collaborative this semester.

on the road collaborative

On the Road Collaborative is an organization that exists to empower young people on the margins with the opportunity, skills, and confidence they need to excel in school and to fulfill their promise. The students from Skyline Middle School that participate in On the Road Collaborative after school have a variety of topics to select from each semester. Various “community teachers” join them to help expose a variety of career opportunities for the future.


We “pitched” the architectural academy last week and the students have the chance to select which of 6 or so topics they want to be part of for the semester. Our goal, in the architectural academy, for the semester is to highlight the many opportunities in the construction industry from architectural to contractor to engineering to HVAC technicians to graphic design. We will tour a sustainable farmhouse under construction to see architecture coming to life. The students will also learn Sketch-up by designing a sustainable farmhouse for a family of 4 people. We will have various experts in the industry join the class to review their designs and offer insights into their career paths.

Harrisonburg Sustainable Farmhouse

It is important to me to continue to teach future generations about the importance of design in all aspects of life. I have done this architectural academy with high school students in the past and a variation of this course for middle school students. It is always amazing to me to see how far the students can progress in one semester. I am looking forward to the challenge and learning to know these exceptional young designers.

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