ACE Final Presentation a Huge Success in Maryland

Frederick, MD ~May 14, 2010 ~Parents, students, teachers, and community leaders came together at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center for the final project presentation and scholarship ceremony of the Architecture Construction and Engineering (ACE) Mentor Program. The program, in its fifth year here in Frederick County, brings high school students interested in learning about careers in architecture, construction, and engineering together with local industry professionals.

The event began with an open exhibit of the eight team design projects, which included a dam, pedestrian bridge, three urban reuses of the downtown Frederick News post building, a community park, an automated parking garage, and an ideal school. The exhibit area provided an opportunity for visitors to ask students questions about individual teams’ design concepts, cost estimates, schedules, and models, while students were able to discuss their learning experiences. Bryan Burke, Chairperson for ACE Mentor Program Frederick Affiliate, shared his thoughts on the final presentation by saying “This is one of my favorite events. I enjoy seeing the result of the work the students have put into their projects. I also enjoy seeing the unique perspective that the millennial generation brings to our industry.”

Following the open exhibit was a ceremony during which three teams delivered formal presentations of their projects. The first group, led by lead mentor Christy Mussler from Bechtel, presented an interesting twist on making the old Frederick News Post building into a green hotel and conference center. The second group, led by lead mentor Gary Orton from Gilbane, also presented renovating the old Frederick News Post Building with a focus on LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) construction. The third team, led by lead mentor Steve Ritz from Weyerhaeuser, consisted of a team of second-year ACE students who presented a design for a fully automated parking garage. The night’s ceremony concluded with the distribution of certificates and class photos to the students, as well as seven senior scholarships totaling $19,000.

The seven senior scholarships recipients are John Lucas– Linganore; Nick Thomas – Tuscarora; Kayla Park-Brouse and Max Zarket – Middletown; Rebecca Nichols – Frederick; Shubhanu Bhargava – Richard Montgomery; and Joanna Yeh – Urbana.

Through the generous support of local companies and mentors who volunteered their time and talent to the program over the last five years, ACE has been able to continuously expand the mentoring program. Completing this year’s program was a total of 61 students, representing eight of the nine Frederick County Public Schools, Saint John Catholic Prep, and Richard Montgomery High School in Montgomery County. That brings the total number of ACE Mentor Program graduates to 245 since its inception in 2005.