The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and The National Girls Collaborative (NGC) are joining forces to build new pathways for girls to achieve educational goals that prepare them for future careers such as architecture. 

“AIA is one of the first professional associations to partner with The National Girls Collaborative to increase exposure to a profession,” said Del L. Ruff, Senior Director, Workforce and K-12 Initiatives at the AIA. “We believe our K-12 partnerships need to be intentional and aid in ensuring the future of the architecture profession. The National Girls Collaborative is one of those partners that will aid in increasing our reach for all students.”

The NGC brings together organizations throughout the U.S. that are committed to informing and encouraging girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). In addition, it manages the largest and most comprehensive directory of youth-serving STEM opportunities and programs in the country: The Connectory. The free online resource helps families connect children to inspiring STEM learning opportunities and programs in their community with only a few clicks of the online tool.

“Architecture represents an innovative blend of design and crucial STEM skills,” said Karen Peterson, CEO of The National Girls Collaborative. “Thanks to this partnership with AIA, we are looking forward to engaging more girls in architecture activities and career paths.”

The NGC will host a webinar from 11 a.m.-noon on March 22 to detail how architecture and design programs around the country can utilize The Connectory. The resource will also be stored on the AIA website.

The AIA’s partnership with The NGC entails representation on behalf of the AIA on The NGC National Champions Board, and representation on behalf of The NGC on the AIA K-12 National Working Group.  

The AIA’s collaboration with The NGC is part of the organization’s commitment to advancing diversity and equality in the architecture field. In 2016, then AIA President Russell Davidson, FAIA, created a diverse task force to develop a comprehensive, long-term strategy to introduce architecture and the role of architects into curriculum for grades K-12. The goals for this task force included developing an appreciation for architecture and the role that architects play in shaping the built environment, nurturing an interest in design disciplines, and promoting the interdisciplinary, design thinking process employed by architects that integrates many aspects of general education and life skills.