How ACE Works


ACE is made up of affiliates serving local communities. Each affiliate has a board of directors, program leaders, and a number of student teams. Average teams are composed of 15-25 students and led by their volunteer mentors who are professionals from the build industry.

Each team is set up to emulate an actual design team, with students guided through a mock design project by their architect, engineer, construction management, and tradesperson mentors.

Mentors assist the students as they work towards a final project, introducing them to the careers, industry vocabulary, and various roles companies play in the construction industry.


ACE runs during the school year, with each affiliate setting their own schedule. The teams meet for approximately 15 sessions, for about two hours after school, usually on the same day each week.

In addition to these team sessions, there are also all-team activities such as “College Night” and field trips to construction sites.

The meetings are held either in schools or at the offices of the firms to give the students as authentic an experience as possible. It is the students’ responsibility to get to each ACE session. ACE makes every effort to select meeting locations that are convenient for students.


At the end of the year, all of the affiliate’s teams gather for a final presentation night. Here they present their designs to other teams, their families, teachers, prospective mentors, and program leaders, so all can share in the students’ accomplishments.

The students’ involvement in the program does not end here, though.

Many remain active alumni of the program through the scholarships they receive, relationships they develop with their mentors, and future employment opportunities they exercise — such as internships and post-college jobs.