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K12 Education

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s Education Department designs field trips at Taliesin West to be in-line with Arizona state standards as well as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) principles and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Our programming promotes engaging with architecture, organic design, ecology, and art at Frank Lloyd Wright’s historic winter home and desert camp. Field trip programs include an educational tour and a learning lab, and are designed for K-12 school groups.

Please email with any questions.


Architectural Historic Core Tour | Grades K-12


Offered August 1 – February & April 1 – June 1 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. 1-1.5 hours or 3 hours with Building with a Purpose or Building Bridges education lab.

Experience Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West through the lens of experimentation and discover why Wright called it his desert laboratory. Students will engage with the ideas of organic architecture with visits to the Garden Room, the Drafting Studio, the Music Pavilion, Cabaret Theatre, Kiva, and Wright’s Office. Created and led by educators, this tour leverages STEAM elements to discuss architecture, building techniques, environment, and Wright’s idea of “learning by doing.”

This tour pairs well with the Building with a Purpose and Building Bridges educational labs.

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Desert Walk Tour | Grades K-12


Offered November 1 – March 31 (weather permitting) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. 1-1.5 hours or 2-3 hours with Patterns in Nature education lab.

The Desert Walk Tour at Taliesin West explores how the Sonoran Desert inspired Frank Lloyd Wright through engagement with nature, art, and organic design. Each student will receive a desert exploration packet which includes a discovery guide and magnifying glass to experience the desert while walking a path through the biome we call home. Created and led by experienced educators who ignite discovery through STEAM focused experiential learning.

Students should bring water, wear flat, closed-toe shoes, and it’s recommended to bring a hat as this tour is conducted outside in the desert.

This tour pairs well with the Patterns in Nature educational lab.

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Building Bridges Lab | Grades 5-8


Offered August 1 – February 15 & April 1 – June 1 in conjunction with Architectural Historic Core Tour

In this STEAM focused lab, students use the engineering design cycle to design and then redesign model bridges using K’nex pieces. Through building structural bridges, students will learn about load, span, designing for a purpose, and working in collaborative dynamics like engineers and architects. Students will also see bridges from around the world and analyze their own bridge drawing digitally drawn using provided iPads. The education team references building technique employed in the creation of Taliesin West.


Building with a Purpose Lab | Grades 2-8


Offered August 1 – February 15 & April 1 – June 1 in conjunction with Architectural Historic Core Tour

Working in groups and referencing the engineering design cycle, students design, create, test, and redesign three different structures of their choice (a house, a shopping mall, or a skyscraper, etc.). The structure the student groups choose must be designed and built to fit into the landscape of the region of the United States they are assigned. Each group is assigned to a different region of the United States to build their structure. The regions include: the West Coast, Arizona desert, Great Plains, Midwest, and East Coast. Each one of these regions will present specific building challenges to each group based on the regions weather patterns and geology. Students will work through group dynamics and the engineering design process to develop a model of a structure that can survive their chosen region.


Patterns in Nature Lab | Grades 2-12


Offered November 1 through March 31 (climate permitting) in conjunction with Desert Walk Tour

This lab allows students to connect with the natural patterns found on the desert walk tour to create unique pieces of artwork through cyanotype photography processing. A cyanotype is a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print. Engineers and architects used the process well into the 20th century as a simple and low-cost process to produce copies of drawings, referred to as blueprints. Students use desert botanicals to create patterns, expose their creation in the sun to see the cyanotype chemical reaction, and wash their final print in water. Each student take home their unique piece of art.


Wright Design Classroom Kits

Wright Design Classroom Kits provide all the resources a teacher needs to facilitate students creating unique stained-glass window works of art. Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s organic architecture, where he created geometric designs from nature, kits include six lessons to advance the stained-glass project. Created in collaboration with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Education Department and Paradise Valley Unified School District Community Education, the pilot program launched in 2018 and is currently being developed to expand into more than 150 classrooms across Arizona.

Geared toward grades 4-6, teachers lead students to use the same process of “learning by doing” which Wright employed to his students and his own architectural methods. Through engaging lessons, and with all the supplies needed, students learn about pattern and shape found in nature in creating their own unique, artful stained glass.

Junior Fellows

Piloted in Spring 2019, in collaboration with Pinnacle Peak Preparatory, Junior Fellows is a unique program that blends junior docent programs with Frank Lloyd Wright’s teaching motto, “learning by doing.” Students follow their own curiosities in this program in order to encourage self-guided learning and create a space for students to find their own voice to express what interests them about Wright, Taliesin West, and organic architecture.

Leading up to the one-night student lead event, the Foundation’s education team conducted in-class learning labs and guided project-based learning about Wright and his work.


When should we arrive?

Please check into the bookstore 15 minutes prior to the tour or program start time.

What should we bring?

Tours take place both indoors and outdoors.  Comfortable clothing and shoes are advised, along with a hat, sunscreen, and a water bottle.  During rainy days please have students wear rain coats.

Is the tour wheelchair accessible?

Taliesin West is a National Historic Landmark built between 1937 and 1959. As such, it was not designed or built to contemporary accessibility standards. The pathway for tours are not all paved and include gravel walkways, uneven steps and stairs. Narrow, steep-sloped ramps over steps are available for guests to use at their own discretion throughout the tour. Ramps are 26” in width with slopes ranging from 21 to 27 degrees.

Do you have lunch facilities?

We do not have an onsite location to store or eat lunches.

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