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ACE 8 First Virtual Session

On November 10, 2020, the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) and NYC School Construction Authority (SCA) kicked off its joint ACE Mentor Team 8 program virtually. Team 8 is an affiliate of the national ACE Mentor Program of America. ACE is an afterschool program designed to attract high school students to pursue careers in the Architecture, Construction Management and Engineering industries. ACE Team 8 consists of 25 high school students from across the five boroughs of New York City. The students are guided by 7 professional mentors from DDC and the SCA.

ACE 2020-2021 season commenced with the introduction of students, mentors and STEAM Team leaders via a virtual ice breaker where students and mentors shared their background and experiences. ACE Mentors introduced their area of expertise and the units they currently work at DDC and the SCA and students shared their career path interests. A majority of students expressed interest in Architecture, Engineering and Construction Management career fields. A few were undecided, but very interested in learning more about A.C.E careers.

The mentors introduced the CIRT Competition Project design prompts, which include designing a homeless shelter, a manufacturing center, or retrofitting a school. CIRT National Design & Construction Competition is national competition held in collaboration with ACE Mentor of America and the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC). Students expressed interest in the homeless shelter and the retrofitting of a school as those two projects could be used to address issued raised by the current pandemic. Upcoming mentor presentations on each discipline and areas of expertise will help to guide students as they choose their CIRT competition project.

This year, ACE Mentor teams from across the country are invited to submit entries to be considered for the prestigious national title and a prize of $5,000.

Design Challenges for 2021


Design Challenges for 2021

ACE Mentor Team 8 Students


ACE Mentor Team 8

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction

The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $14 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit