Youth Programming

The ICAA offers the New Heights and Grand Tour programs for middle school and high school students to help children and teenagers expand their understanding of and engagement with the built environment. In addition, the ICAA hosts school group visits to the Plaster Cast Hall, tailored to the students' age and curriculum.

Most in-person and webinar youth programs are offered through collaborations with middle schools and high schools. The ICAA also offers A Young Architect's Toolkit, an introductory drawing video series for middle and high school students.

New Heights


The ICAA's first program for middle school and high school students, New Heights fosters an appreciation of the practice of architecture through experiences in the classroom and in the field. Typically taught over the course of a week or semester, or adapted to suit the host school's curriculum, the course immerses students in the fundamental concepts of building, design, and architectural language to help them develop observational, creative, and critical skills to engage the built environment. Coursework includes drawing and design exercises, walking tours, and hands-on demonstrations in building craft.

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The ICAA would like to thank Sarah Magness Design for generously supporting the New Heights program.



The Grand Tour


The Grand Tour is a one-day immersion in the world of an architect for middle school and high school classes. Architecture is a profession and field of study often not covered in middle and high school curricula, despite its cultural, social, and political impact on our society throughout history. The Grand Tour seeks to introduce students to the history and principles of classical architecture and urban planning as well as its current application in the communities of the program’s students.

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The ICAA would like to thank Kane Brothers Inc. Landscape Design for their generous support of the 2021 Chicago Grand Tour program.



Plaster Cast Hall Visits


Taught by the ICAA's Cast Hall Fellow, a museum educator and art historian, school group visits to the Plaster Cast Hall collection are designed in collaboration with educators to make sure that each bespoke visit builds upon the group's curriculum and brings history to life. Practicing artists and architects often join the visits, leading students in demonstrations and art-making activities that prompt them to stretch their creativity and look closely at the works around them.

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A Young Architect's Toolkit


As part of the ICAA's Cast Hall programming, this video series explores how to draw in perspective, depict a column in proportion, and sketch buildings on site. In three introductory tutorials for middle and high school students, follow working architects and designers as they demonstrate key skills that every architect uses and help you hone your architectural eye.

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Plan a Program

Interested in bringing a New Heights or Grand Tour program to your school, or planning a visit to the Cast Hall? Please email [email protected] to learn more and discuss curriculum options.

Support Youth Programming

The New Heights, Grand Tour, and Cast Hall school visit programs are offered at no cost to partnering schools and students thanks to the generosity of the ICAA's members and donors.

Please consider making a gift to support the ICAA's efforts to make these and other programs available.