SchoolsNEXT Design Competition

Challenged to plan and design sustainable and resilient learning spaces that encourage innovation, critical thinking and collaboration, these young designers have broadened the potential of a school by connecting excellence in design with excellence in education. Their rigorous research, exceptional teamwork and eco-friendly solutions not only meet the needs of students, but address the economy and society of the future, enabling them to master the skills they need to take on the challenges of a world defined by change.

2021 Award of Excellence

Lake Oswego, Lake Oswego, OR
Highlands Middle School: Narrative » | Introduction Video »

The SchoolsNEXT Design Competition offers an opportunity to illustrate the kind of creativity that students bring to the planning and design process. The competition highlights the importance of well-planned, healthy, safe sustainable and resilient schools that foster student and teacher achievement and enhance community vitality. The international annual competition, open to middle school and high school students, challenges student teams to design their learning environments to enhance learning, conserve resources, be environmentally responsive and engage the surrounding community. The multi-disciplinary solution requires students to follow a planning process from the concept phase to completion of the project, with thorough documentation. The students will present their project to a jury for review.

Schools around the world are advancing the limits of public education by providing real-world learning experiences and opportunities for students to ask questions and problem solve, collaborate and gain experience tactile, hands-on work. This is a 21st Century learning approach where students are enabled, engaged and empowered through a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) curriculum, leadership and teamwork proficiency to master the 21st century skills they need to succeed in today’s global economy.

SchoolsNEXT Competition

2021-2022 SchoolsNEXT Sign Up!

Become a Mentor

To become a SchoolsNEXT sponsor, please contact Donna Robinson, CMM, CMP


Shaw Contract



Resources, Instructions & Guidelines

SchoolsNEXT Design Competition Information

For more information, please contact Donna Robinson, CMP


Shaw Contract



U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Schradergroup Architecture
U.S. Green Building Council

2021 Winners

Award of Distinction

Bullis Charter, Los Altos, CA
Somerset Elementary School: Narrative » | Introduction Video »

Award of Commendation

St. Michael’s Academy, Springfield, MA
Sweet Dreams Preschool: Narrative » | 3D Models »

Award of Merit

Central Jr. High


Dedicated architecture students, architects, engineers, construction managers, facility planners, federal agencies, municipal government, manufacturers and suppliers contribute their time in mentoring middle school students through the competition, so that learning about facility planning, design and the built environment can take place.


Teachers are encouraged to use the award-winning SchoolsNEXT Design Competition curriculum and outlined lesson plans as a starting point for the creative ideas of the participants of the student design competition and to develop skills in math, language arts, communication, leadership, science technology, architecture and facility planning.