ACE Benefits To Students

WHAT IS ACE?

ACE stands for Architecture, Construction and Engineering – the three cornerstones of the construction industry. It is the fastest-growing mentoring program in America that introduces students to the vast amount of opportunity there is if they want to explore this industry.

ACE is an after-school program for high school students who are interested in learning about career opportunities in Architecture, Construction, Engineering, and related construction professions.

WHO ARE MENTORS?

Mentors will be successful designers, engineers and contractors, from leading design and construction firms, who volunteer their time and energy. They can offer students a taste of what it is like to work in these fields and help decide what career is right for them.

WHAT KIND OF COMPANIES MAKE UP ACE?

The ACE Mentor Program is made up of companies in the design and construction industry who want to provide career direction to students interested in learning more about these fields. Many of these companies are well known in the design and construction industry, and some have offices throughout the country or even international offices. It also includes leading schools and universities with programs geared especially towards students who want to pursue design careers.

ACE has also partnered with many apprentice and training programs for students who are interested in the skilled crafts.

HOW IS ACE ORGANIZED?

The companies join into teams and “adopt” a group of students for the duration of a school year. The teams are organized like a real life design/construction project. For example, a team might include a corporate “owner”, an architectural firm, a construction company, and an engineering firm. In addition, each team includes a local college or university that offers an architecture, engineering, or related program.

WHAT DISCIPLINES ARE STUDENTS EXPOSED TO?
  • Architecture
  • Interior Design
  • Planning
  • Civil Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Construction Management

Some ACE affiliates may offer additional disciplines that include skilled crafts.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS TO STUDENTS?

Career guidance: Students will be exposed to many disciplines and specialties of engineering, architecture, and design, which will help them decide which one is right for them. Their mentors have already made the decisions that students are facing, and they can help them with their decisions.

Challenges: Working in a team environment, and guided by their mentors, students will be challenged to develop solutions to design problems and then to present these solutions to other students at the end-of-year event.

Facilitates transition to workplace: Becoming familiar with the office environment of their mentors will help students prepare for working in that type of setting.

Enhances skills: Working on their project will help students develop important skills such as problem solving, drawing, writing, and presentation. Depending on their team, they may also be exposed to electronic drafting software, and other design and analysis software used in the industry.

Possible summer/part-time jobs: Firms are always looking for motivated interns. Mentors will be able to help their students apply for a position.

Possible partial scholarships: Some affiliates offer partial college scholarships to graduates of the ACE program who pursue design careers.

WHAT WILL STUDENTS DO?

Together with their mentors, each team will develop a program for the year that is tailored to the student’s interests.

Introductory sessions might include hands-on activities, office tours, videos, and field trips to expose students to the various disciplines within the industry.

Also, students will be challenged with an actual design project. The project could be redesigning a residence, a new high school, or planning to bring the Olympics to a major city! Mentors will guide students along each stage of the project. At the end of the year, each team will put on a presentation of their work, which parents and teachers will be invited to attend.

Most affiliates will also host a “College Night.” All teams in the area attend this event. Its purpose is to provide students with information that will help them chose the right college and help them find financing.

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE END OF YEAR PRESENTATIONS?

The End-of-Year Presentations event is the culmination of the ACE season. All teams attend this event, and students can invite a family member, a friend, or a teacher.

Each team presents their project to the other teams. The students explain the problem that they were trying to solve, how they approached it, and they present their solution(s). Students show their models, drawings, electronic graphics, or any other material that they developed.

This event also serves as a graduation ceremony, and special awards are given.

WHEN ARE THE MEETINGS?

Meetings are usually held once every 2 weeks for a total of 15 meetings, after school, from about 4pm to 6pm. Each team tries to meet on a set day of the week, so make sure that it does not conflict with other activities in the students schedule.

WHERE ARE THE MEETINGS HELD?

Students will usually meet at the offices of their mentors. The meeting place will rotate among the firms that are on a team, so that students get the chance to see a variety of workplaces. Mentors will give students directions to all the meetings.

When it is not possible to meet at the mentors’ offices, the team will pick a conveniently located meeting place, possibly at the school or a community center.

WHAT GRADE DO STUDENTS HAVE TO BE IN?

ACE is open to high school freshman, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Depending on the number of available openings in the local chapter, juniors and seniors may be given preference.

WHAT SORT OF COMMITMENT IS INVOLVED

Students will get the most out of ACE if they attend each session and field trip, and if they spend additional time developing their team’s project.

Occasional absences are to be expected. If for some reason a student can’t make it to a meeting, they should let their mentors know.

If, after a few sessions, a student finds that ACE is not for them, they just need to tell their mentors.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST

The program is free. What we ask is that students give us their invaluable time. A students commitment to the program will lead to a great career in the construction industry the second largest industry in the country.

ACE is an after school program that introduces you to careers in architecture, construction management, engineering and other disciplines.

Ace Benefits To Students

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The ACE Mentor Program is driven by the committed and enthusiastic participation of volunteer mentors who are practicing professionals in their respective field.

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Sponsors are all key to the success of ACE. Only with their support are we able to offer life-changing career programs to students at no cost.

ACE Benefits: The Design and Construction Industry
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Want to become a sponsor? Call 703.942.8101 or fill out our form.