Getting Started as a Teacher

Welcome Educators!

DiscoverDesign is a free web-based learning tool for teens created by the Chicago Architecture Foundation.  It empowers teens to gain architectural skills, learn green design principles, engage in problem solving, and connect to an online community of their peers, their teachers and design professionals around the world.

It’s ideal for use in Career and Tech Ed classes and Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) courses.  Educators in art and science also find DiscoverDesign to be rigorous and relevant for their cross-disciplinary project-based learning.

DiscoverDesign supports 21st Century skills – creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration – using new media and promoting technological literacy.  Case studies explore award-winning green schools around the country and include interactive instructional materials – videos, slideshows, guided questions, architectural construction drawings, interviews with architects, digital models.

Teens choose real-world design challenges posted on DiscoverDesign and throughout the design process, they post their original photos, images of Google SketchUp models, fly-through animations, architectural drawings (AutoCAD DWF files), videos and text.

Have an idea for a new design problem for your students? Let us know! Together we can develop the design brief. We'll post it so any student or teacher can use it.

If you’re already connected to architects and engineers in your own community, they can create free accounts and begin volunteering as online mentors to provide feedback on the various stages of your students’ design projects in the Student Gallery.

We also encourage you to reach out to your local chapters of the American Institute of Architects, the American Society of Structural Engineers, or the ACE Mentor Program to identify potential mentors.

Or, you can contact us at the Chicago Architecture Foundation and we can help get the word out to mentors we know about you and your students.

After you create a new account, please let us know.  Contact us here and we’ll verify your educator status and grant you special access to several classroom-friendly features on DiscoverDesign.

Safe Use for Classrooms
If you have any questions about safety and privacy on DiscoverDesign, learn more about how we've protected students' identity.  Only anonymous usernames and cities are displayed and students' full names and school names are never shown.  We never share account info with anyone.

FAQs / Technical Help
Visit the student help page for more info, a student tutorial video, and technical help.

Questions about using DiscoverDesign in your classroom?
Just ask us!