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ACE TEAM 8 joint CIRT Challenge

October 23, 2018

On October 23, 2018, the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) and NYC School Construction Authority (SCA) kicked off its joint ACE Mentor Team 8 program today with a transportation problem designed to introduce high school students to the 2018 Construction Industry Round Table (CIRT) challenge.

ACE TEAM 8 students represent high schools in Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. Students were split into six groups for the challenge, which was to create a structure that would connect through multiple checkpoints to transport a marble across a room and into a vessel using only letter-sized copy paper, plastic cups and tape. Working in groups the students built a structure spanning roughly 34 feet in length and roughly 5.5 feet in height.

“The ACE Mentor program is an excellent way to interest young people in future careers in architecture, construction and engineering, and open their eyes to opportunities they may not have considered before,” said Commissioner Lorraine Grillo, who serves as both DDC Commissioner and SCA President. “Today’s exercise forced our ACE Mentor team to quickly develop a plan of action, and work cooperatively to develop a creative engineering solution to a fun problem. We look forward to seeing what else they create during the year.”

DDC’s partnership with SCA and ACE Mentor is organized under the DDC’s STEAM education initiative, established in 2014 as a pipeline for City students to career fields related to science, technology, engineering, art/architecture, and mathematics.

“STEAM careers are the jobs of the future and our young people need to be prepared if they are to succeed and compete in the 21st century global economy. The ACE Mentor program is designed to capture young people’s attention and enthusiasm about what they can accomplish as future engineers, architects and other built environment professionals. The exposure to civil engineering and construction that our ACE TEAM 8 students will gain this school year is invaluable, especially in New York City, an urban landscape that is ever-changing in response to the needs of its people and environment,” said Lee Llambelis, DDC Deputy Commissioner for Community Partnerships and STEAM Initiatives.

Between now and the end of the school year, the DDC/SCA ACE Mentor Team will work to complete the 2018 Construction Industry Round Table (CIRT) Challenge. They will come up with proposals for transforming neglected parts of urban areas/cities into interactive playgrounds or playscapes; how to alleviate transportation congestion in urban settings; or create an effective community health clinic.

The Team may present its project at the CIRT’s National Design Competition. Team members will be required to explain their intentions for the structure built, the reasoning behind it and how they would construct it, including details on a proposed redesign, construction materials, building techniques and estimated cost. They would also take into consideration applicable sustainability features.

Founded in 1994 by a group of leading architects, contractors and engineers in New York City, the ACE Mentor Program has served over 65,000 students nationwide and over 10,000 students in New York alone. Today more than 9,000 students and 3,600 mentors participate in ACE each year in 37 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Three-quarters of ACE students come from minority and underserved communities.