Berkmar boasts first high school architecture chapter in Georgia

Gwinnett County Public Schools announced Berkmar as the first high school in Georgia to establish an American Institute of Architecture Students chapter. (File Photo)

Berkmar High School has established an American Institute of Architecture chapter, becoming the first school in the state of Georgia to have one.

AIAS is an independent, nonprofit, student-run organization dedicated to providing progressive programs, information, and resources on issues critical to architecture and the experience of education.

According to Gwinnett County Public Schools, Berkmar has nearly 200 students registered to join.

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.

“All of my students have signed up and the chapter is open to anyone interested in architecture,” Berkmar architecture instructor Donyale Miller said. “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, have their projects judged by AIA members, and view projects created by other students in Georgia.”

AIAS provides members with experiences that will prepare them for entering the profession and beyond with 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.

“I believe this opportunity will be an effective source of motivation and inspiration for students interested in architecture and the design fields,” Miller said. “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.”