News and updates from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Vanguard Supports Virtual Education Initiatives for Kids

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation | Jul 13, 2020

Are you and your family sheltering at home? Since young aspiring architects can’t come to us, we’ve found new ways to bring Frank Lloyd Wright’s famed principles of organic architecture and solutions-based design directly into your homes. Find out how Vanguard has helped support the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s efforts to keep kids engaged online with Virtual Summer Camps and a Virtual Classroom.

For the first time ever, hundreds of kids from across the U.S. are signing up for free online summer camps and virtual classes created by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s education team at Taliesin West’s Arizona headquarters. The Foundation isn’t just offering one virtual class, but a 6-part series along with new activities or lessons introduced each week, plus several sessions of a two-week summer Art + Architecture Camp. Developed for students and their parents to provide some much needed relief during the Covid-19 shutdown, the Foundation was able to create these impactful and free virtual education experiences, thanks to a significant grant from Vanguard.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Classroom

The Foundation’s education staff initially teamed up with Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) to develop a fun, easy 6-part capsule of activities to do at home based on Wright’s organic architecture and solutions-based design, as well as vital STEAM principles. These interactive lessons engage K-12 students with hands-on projects for hours of fun investigating math, science, and design to create their own imaginative final projects. 

The 6 PVUSD activities found in the Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Classroom provide kids with 5 lessons and corresponding videos with each activity building upon the next to culminate in a 6th final project inspired by Wright’s renowned art glass. 

Following the 6-part capsule project, the Virtual Classroom also has new weekly activities introduced every Wednesday.

Parents can simply have their child watch, learn, and complete an entire variety of virtual activities on his or her own. Or, parents can also get in on the fun and make some of the activities part of a family project!


Free Virtual Art + Architecture Summer Camp

When we realized that it would be impossible to hold our regular summer camps at Taliesin West, we decided to break the mold again and morph some of those on-site camp experiences into online, two-week virtual Art + Architecture Summer Camp sessions for kids stuck at home. During the first week of camp, participants learned the basics of structures and concepts of architecture through hands-on experiments they could work on from their kitchen table or in their living room. During this time, campers begin to develop their own “dream space.”

In week 2 of each camp session, participants had the chance to dive deeper into the realm of architecture, adding interior design, and learning about floor plans and scaling for their final dream space projects. Through virtual community learning and sharing project ideas, campers ended their second week with a scaled floor plan and a virtual 3D model created with a free, easy-to-use virtual building app.

Both kids and parents have found these resources to relieve some of the daily COVID-19 stress. As one cooped-up camper commented, “Thank you for all of the work you’ve put into this! It has given me something to do in this boring time.” Parents are also grateful for the virtual summer camp, saying “Thank you for this wonderful experience. When COVID hit we felt like everything was disconnected. Especially during this difficult time, your program kept my child excited and looking forward to learning something new. Your two-week program gave us a chance to participate in a great learning opportunity. I am looking forward to seeing the new lesson for the next class!”


These unique online offerings have been lauded by parents, educators, and the media. As one third grade teacher put it, “I am so grateful to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation for their support of student learning… This lesson created a great platform for inquiry, exploration of scientific phenomenon, and sense-making, which are the pillars of our science curriculum. It also introduced students to the art of architecture, encouraging them to see artistic expression in structures and buildings instead of just with paints, pencils, and paper. It’s the “learning by doing” that Wright continually promoted for all of his trainees. We’re proud of the new Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Virtual Classrooms and Summer Camps, and grateful to Vanguard for their financial support during the pandemic.”

About Vanguard’s Service to Our Communities
For decades, Vanguard has given back to the local communities in which we live and work, and now is no different. Vanguard has invested over $8 million in partners across our global communities as they tirelessly support neighbors in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.