ACE has given me a head start in learning the expectations and responsibilities of an architect. I now know what is expected as I go on to college and what I need to do to prepare myself.
Architecture, Construction, and Engineering, or ACE, is a nationwide mentor program designed to introduce high school students to the wide range of career opportunities in the building design and construction industry. The ACE Mentor Program of Greater Charleston is South Carolina’s first affiliate of the national nonprofit ACE Program and is currently active during the spring semester at Burke High School / Lowcountry Tech Academy, Stall High School, and St. John’s High School. Teams meet every other week for an hour and a half during the school day. Student teams work directly with industry professionals from the area’s leading firms, who volunteer their time to mentor the students as they design hypothetical projects, tour local construction sites, and visit architectural, engineering, and construction offices. For students, ACE is a unique chance to discover and develop new skills, solidify future goals, and get a jumpstart to exciting and rewarding careers. Many students form positive and lasting relationships with industry professionals who can become influential references for obtaining college admissions, scholarships, internships, and even full-time employment. In addition to professional connections, the affiliate offers scholarship opportunities to deserving seniors who plan to attend college. Our goal at ACE of Greater Charleston is to expand to other high schools in the Lowcountry, as either an elective course or an after-school program. If your school is interested in learning more about ACE, please contact one of our board members.
Our Team Projects
Students in the ACE program work closely with their professional mentors on projects that provide hands-on experience in solving design, engineering, and construction challenges industry professionals confront every day. The teams learn a number of skills, including how to use advanced computerized tools, such as AutoCAD, which are used by practicing professionals. Special exercises and activities illustrate the industry’s demand for young people skilled in math, physics, economics, art, and other disciplines. Team projects are presented at our annual end-of-year banquet where the students’ hard work is celebrated by the mentors, participants, families, teachers, and community leaders.