SchoolsNEXT Design Competition

The Association for Learning Environments’ SchoolsNEXT Design Competition challenges teams of middle school students across the globe to address a pressing need, problem, or challenge by formulating an educational response and designing an appropriate learning environment, – school building – in support of their idea. Students engage with each other and with architects, serving as mentors, in a planning process to develop multidisciplinary solutions that, at a minimum, are practical and applicable but at their best can be aspirational and transformative.

Teams from Virginia compete against other schools from Virginia in a juried process scheduled in March. The winning Virginia team presents at the Virginia A4LE Conference in April and moves on to the regional competition in April. The regional winner competes in the international competition in October/November. The team is represented at these venues by four presenters and a teacher. Deliverables include an essay describing the challenge and the ways in which it can be addressed through the learning environment planned and designed by the team; a physical model representing the learning environment; a video or PowerPoint presentation chronicling the process; documenting the challenge, and result; and various supplemental materials including, but not limited to, digital models, floor plans, and renderings; hand-drawn concept sketches, renderings, and artists’ interpretations; and photography.

For more information, please contact Elaine Fogliani, [email protected].

2018-2019 SchoolsNEXT Virginia Timeline

September 2018 Elaine Fogliani will contact the 2017-18 participants to garner interest in participation for 2018-19.

A memo will be sent out from the VADOE STEM Department to all school divisions.

Elaine Fogliani will contact several superintendents who are interested in project-based learning to find out if they may want to have a school participate.

Each Board member will recruit a school in their division or a school that is in a client’s district. The name of the school and contact information will be submitted by October 31, 2018 to Vijay Ramnarain and Elaine Fogliani.

SchoolsNEXT registration.

The first 10 schools that register will receive a check for $150 for the purchase of project supplies.

Mentor registration.
October 2018 – March 2019 SchoolsNEXT curriculum implemented.
March 2019 Student design competition projects, narratives, videos, PowerPoints completed for submittal.
March 2019 Juried presentations by participating schools.

Virginia winner is announced.

Virginia winner is submitted for Southeast Regional competition.
April 9, 2019 Virginia Finalists present at Virginia A4LE Annual Conference in Williamsburg, VA.
June 2019 International Jury.

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Comprehensive industry education: ALEP, Advanced Academy and Vibrant Learning Environments


Online Awards


Visit our showcase of past online entry submissions


LearningSCAPES 2022


October 5-9, 2022
Marriott Rivercenter, San Antonio, TX