Inspiring San Diego’s youth to discover the value of thoughtful design in our buildings, places, and spaces.

BEEP stands for Built Environment Education Program. As part of SDAF’s overarching mission, the program strives to inspire San Diego’s youth to discover the value of design in our built environment. BEEP San Diego is dedicated to educating and advocating for school-age youth as meaningful participants, leaders, and decision makers in crafting our local cities, neighborhoods, and parks.

BEEP partners with architects and design professionals to introduce K-12 students to the basic concepts that shape buildings, places, and spaces. BEEP workshops incorporate urban planning and landscape architecture as well as traditional architecture. The program was founded in the 1980s by the California Architectural Foundation (CAF).

Create & Collaborate

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How BEEP inspires young minds
BEEP workshops incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM ) — with a strong emphasis on the “A”! Lessons encourage critical thinking and problem-solving while offering youth a chance to engage in dialog with adults. As part of the process, students are also exposed to public speaking, policy making, and consensus building.

A “Hands-On, Minds-On” Approach
Through a series of hands-on, STEAM-based exercises, BEEP mentors introduce children and teens to the interrelationship of our built and natural environments. Lessons are structured for different learning levels, with projects ranging from basic geometric manipulation to more sophisticated topics like urban infrastructure. In particular, BEEP emphasizes how changes in scale affect the built environment, from a room to a building, to notions of an entire town and regional planning.

Design. Create. Transform.
BEEP workshop formats present building concepts in ways that are fun and familiar for young students, ultimately letting them translate their new knowledge into action. The program opens student’s eyes to how they can contribute to the design of their physical environment with a goal to form, change, and improve the world around them. BEEP San Diego continues to develop unique workshops such as those highlighted below.

Two young girls kneel on the beach, holding up their sketches
A group of students discuss their BEEP project

Engage & Explore

How you can participate in BEEP

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BEEP continues to inspire SD youth thanks to the heartfelt commitment of its volunteers and inquisitive spirit of its students. San Diego’s youngest generation is becoming increasing diverse and BEEP is committed to inclusivity. The program welcomes participants countywide, especially from within underserved communities who lack opportunity to be informed about design and the built environment.

Volunteer as a Mentor
Program volunteers serve as mentors with a genuine passion for the built environment. As a mentor, you can re-experience the joy of discovering new ideas as you share your expertise and guide students to flex their imaginations. Past volunteers include architects, urban planners, landscape architects, interior designers, engineers, and grad students pursuing degrees in a related discipline. Design professionals can also receive continuing education credits.

Participate as a Student
BEEP is open to San Diego youth attending kindergarten through 12th grade. As the future builders of tomorrow, students gain essential insight into the concepts of responsible urban development, sustainable building methods, and the preservation of our natural environment. Our STEAM-based approach touches upon math, science, and the arts. Collaborative workshops provide valuable experience in how to work with others to achieve a common goal. Check our calendar for upcoming events or follow along with one of our pre-recorded activities at any time.

Pledge & Promote

How you can support BEEP

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Contribute as a Sponsor
In addition to grants, BEEP relies on generous contributions from private and public organizations, SDAF members, and individual patrons who believe in the value of great design. When you commit your financial support to BEEP, you empower young minds to share in the future vision for our diverse communities. Funds are used to pay for model-making materials, drawing supplies, photocopies, and similar needs. Every pledge amount is vital to BEEP’s continued success.

Collaborate with BEEP
BEEP maintains partnerships with a number of organizations who donate resources, share technical references or provide much-needed gathering spaces. Professional associations include the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the American Planning Association (APA), and the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Neighborhood libraries and community centers have also opened their doors to offer workshop space.

Adults attend a BEEP event

BEEP Sponsors

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Commission Arts And Culture Logo
U S Bank
ResMed Foundation
Boys And Girls Foundation
Sciences Education Foundation - General Atomics
pencil sketch of a building of architectural interest positioned next to a photograph of a building wall with two windows. The BEEP logo is overlayed on the image.

BEEP Online Activities

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We offer free, virtual lessons, available on-demand at any time. Just press play! You are guaranteed to have a great time and learn a little in the process. These activities are for kids of all ages (adults too).

Upcoming BEEP events

Sorry, there are no events scheduled at this time. Check back soon or view our full calendar for other exciting events.