SCAD and Other Design-Learning Experiences for Children

As the reality of a COVID-19 vaccine appears to be a greater & nearer possibility, parents are looking ahead to summer 2021 and opportunities for children to get out of the house and into the world. (Not to mention the deep hunger for extracurricular programs during the school year, after the transition back to on-ground classes.) Families have so many conventional activities to choose from, from music lessons and dance to sports of any and every kind. But what about the young people with a love for design, architecture, and related disciplines?

SCAD, based in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia, with its top-ranked interior design and architecture programs, among more than 40 other creative disciplines, offers virtual and on-ground summer programs for high school students with a keen eye for design. We recommend SCAD Rising Star, a five-week residential course offered in summer (June 19-July 23, 2021) to rising high school seniors. SCAD Rising Star students enroll in classes for college credit (two classes per student), introducing them to experience residence life, advanced teaching and learning, design vocabulary, and careers and questions in a range of design disciplines, from architecture and virtual reality to fashion and computer-aided product design. Students have the opportunity to learn and grow while building portfolios for scholarship and internship applications. Weekly events engage students with a vast network of talented pros across the creative professions.

K-12 grade students in the Silicon Valley area have the opportunity to enroll in a variety of summer and after-school programs, from toy design to textile design, through DesignX. DesignX fosters a maker mindset, empowering them to make their ideas a reality. Students learn the history and origins of different design disciplines, as well as sustainable practices and creative problem-solving. Additionally, DesignX makes available their “DX Kit” for students for use at home.

StrongMind, a digital learning solutions company that strives to support learners with innovative courses on unique topics such as contemporary art history and interior design. The coursework is full of captivating multimedia elements, including virtual reality and other multimedia components. Presented as an elective course for high school students, participants explore the principles of design and modern developments affecting the industry such as accessible design and green design in the first semester.

Every summer, Andrews University invites young students to explore architecture and the building arts through engaging activities and the building of their own structures via Renaissance Kids. The program aspires to make complex ideas accessible by exploring relationships between people and the physical world. In 2020, due to changes in learning in response to COVID-19, Renaissance Kids transitioned to a digital subscription that allows young, aspiring architects from around the country to meet each other and participate in design, drawing, building challenges. Parents and siblings are encouraged to get involved and help participants build the model home of their dreams.

The Art Studio NY

The Art Studio NY offers a range of classes, virtual and in-person, for aspiring artists of any age, including K-12 students at any level of practice. Instruction is tailored, individualized, and one-on-one. Classes are small and inspiration is the focus. Instructors are professional artists living and working in New York, providing young kids and teens the opportunity to experiment with a range of media and content, from sequential art and storyboarding to landscape and portraiture. The program also offers “Pay What You Wish” workshops for any budget.


Learn more about SCAD from President Paula Wallace here: