The Alex Foundation recently hosted its STE+AM Initiative at the Cornerstone Christian Academy at Tillar to introduce eighth and ninth grade students to key ways science, technology, engineering, art and math are aligned to an architectural career and raise awareness among educators on the interdisciplinary connections that link technical and creative skills with architecture.

Through direct instruction over a three-day period, CCA students designed a mock house and a skyscraper. They learned the connections that engineering and math have with architecture through structural concepts of architecture including, the column grid, structural frame, diagrid, cantilever and bridge.

Cornerstone Christian Academy students build structures with gumdrops and toothpicks

The students put their acquired knowledge to work to design and build structures using toothpicks, gum drops and paper.

Alison Turner, a professor of architecture at the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville was the instructor. Funding was provided by the Windgate Charitable Foundation.

About the Alex Foundation
The Alex Foundation, a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit organization mission is to engage, engender and enlighten students to become exposed to college, careers and entrepreneurial opportunities in architecture, design and the built environment. The Foundation’s efforts are collaborated through a multiple intelligence approach that includes cooperative learning, experiential learning, project-based learning and multidisciplinary learning. For more information, visit