Over the past year, our offices across the United States participated in the ACE Mentor Program, which focuses on exposing high school students to the fields of architecture, construction and engineering. Our mentors love the experience, which gives them the chance to share what they do with their community and spark a genuine interest in our industry in its future leaders.
In Albany, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco, for instance, students focused on ways to improve their communities. Students in Albany focused their efforts around sport stadiums and complexes, using team building exercises to learn that cooperation is always important on any project. Work in Pittsburgh centered around the design of a high-rise condo building that, when completed, will be the greenest office tower in the world. In San Francisco, students worked on designing individual homes, showing that even in the same field, creativity, flexibility and adaptability are vital.
In Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia, projects concentrated on improving existing infrastructure. Boston students worked together to renovate a school yard in the urban neighborhood of East Boston. The project went on to win the Boston Society of Landscape Architects’ Award of Excellence, teaching the students that hard work pays off. In Philadelphia, mentors helped students expand the Franklin Institute, a museum and learning center. In New York, our staff helped two student teams: the first working on a new student center for Columbia University, and the second on the development of a multi-use Olympic stadium for summer games in NYC.
Finally, efforts in Raleigh, Rochester, and Puerto Rico focused on exposing students to more specified aspects of the industry. In Raleigh, Stantec engineers spoke about what exactly a civil engineer does, allowing them to grasp a better understanding of the business. In Rochester, students were invited to shadow members of Stantec’s rail engineering division, which gave them practical experience in the day-to-day life of an engineer. In Puerto Rico, students helped develop and design an environmentally friendly beach resort, confirming that even in an industry with broad possibilities, the work you do can be very specific.
With programs like ACE, we are able to put our promise to work, as we and the students design – quite literally – with community in mind.