Berkmar High School made history recently by starting an American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) chapter. It is the first high school in Georgia, and one of only 26 in the world, to have an AIAS chapter. AIAS is an independent, nonprofit, student-run organization dedicated to providing unmatched progressive programs, information, and resources on issues critical to architecture and the experience of education. The organization aims to promote excellence in architectural education, training, and practice; foster an appreciation of architecture and related disciplines; enrich communities in a spirit of collaboration; and organize students and combine their efforts to advance the art and science of architecture.
Nearly 200 Berkmar High students have registered to join the chapter. “All of my students have signed up and the chapter is open to anyone interested in architecture,” said Donyale Miller, architecture instructor at Berkmar. “Students involved in AIAS will connect to chapter members at colleges and universities in Georgia and around the world, gaining access to tools needed to enter the design fields of their choice. I am looking forward to our students competing in the 2019 High School Design Competition where students will have the opportunity to interact with members of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), have their projects judged by AIA members, and view projects created by other students in Georgia.”
AIAS strives to be ahead of the curve; providing members with invaluable experiences that will prepare them for entering the profession and beyond. The organization’s events and programs are geared towards encouraging students to discover and ignite their true passions. Each AIAS opportunity is developed to appeal to students of varying backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. Through the Freedom by Design™ program and other community outreach, AIAS empowers members and students as a whole to be good citizens on their campuses and in their communities.
Miller is pleased to have the program at Berkmar, saying, “I believe this opportunity will be an effective source of motivation and inspiration for students interested in architecture and the design fields. When we signed up, there were only 26 or 27 AIAS high school chapters nationwide. As the first AIAS high school chapter in Georgia we will be the example of what an Architecture Pathway should offer.”