During the first four months of the 09-10 school year,
fifteen students from Bloomfield High School participated
in an after-school program that exposes high school students
to career opportunities in Architecture, Construction,
and Engineering disciplines. The ACE Mentoring Program
of America, Inc. partners with industry professionals to
mentor students and provide hands on, real-world experience
at local schools.
For 90 minutes each week, the high school students
met with architects, Randall Luther, Nathan Tuttle and
Jeff Brown from TSKP STUDIO along with Jennifer Frank from Diggs Construction. Working
through the same steps that the professional design team would undertake, each week the students
learned about a different aspect of the design process. Guest speakers such as mechanical and
electrical engineers, lighting designers, civil and structural engineers and landscape architects talked
to the students about their specific roles and responsibilities in the design development process.
The mentoring team guided the students through the challenge of designing an addition to the
Bloomfield High School specifically to house the school's library. A new library was one small component
of the actual high school improvement program currently underway, so students have been able
to connect the theoretical work they did in the classroom with a real-world project they could watch
progress at their school.
After the structural engineer visited, students were given 6 pieces of wood and asked to design and
build a truss that would be able to support at least one brick. "At first the students all thought that it
could not be done," said Randall Luther, "but by the end of the exercise each team had built trusses
that held at least one brick and one group built a truss that held 6 bricks!"
The goal of increasing the awareness of high school students to career opportunities has been realized
with three of last year's students continuing their studies after high school. One student went
on to the architecture program at the University of Hartford, a second is now studying architecture at
the New Jersey Institute of Technology and several students from last year's group came back for a
second program this past fall.