mission and history


The Salvadori Center gives students the tools to unlock the math and science embedded in the structures that surround us. We inspire students and teachers to use the wonder, beauty, and logic of our built world as a foundation for learning.


When the New York Academy of Sciences challenged educators in 1976 to improve the teaching of math and science in middle schools, Salvadori’s founder, Mario Salvadori, responded. He showed students how math and science are part of the buildings, bridges, and communities that surround us.

In 1987, the Salvadori Center was founded with three main principles:

  • Engage students through project-based exercises
  • Use the built environment to illustrate the relevance of math and science
  • Employ collaborative problem solving that involves all learners

Today, we hold true to our founding principles. Salvadori’s programs celebrate our collaborative, hands-on and project-based approach to learning through the built environment with programs that:

  • Promote college and career readiness for all students
  • Emphasize higher-order skills
  • Produce student work that reflects high levels of thinking, participation, and ownership

We offer a variety of multi-day in-school and after-school programs that enable every child to succeed, as well as professional development workshops that provide teachers with a strong foundation in project-based learning. All Salvadori curricula link to Common Core Math Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and grade-specific learning objectives.

After participating in Salvadori programs, thousands of students see their world differently. They understand how buildings stand up, how bridges support such heavy loads and, most importantly, they understand “why they need to know this.”

Salvadori students achieve a greater understanding of math and science than students in traditional learning environments; they see it and feel it in the classes they enter, the bridges they cross, and the communities they live in.

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