ACE Team 2

Meeting 1: November 7, 2017

This week, Team 2 met for the first time at HDR’s office. After a quick pizza dinner, each mentor firm gave a brief presentation about their company, types of projects they work on, past projects, and fun facts about the mentors. The represented firms are HDR for architecture, WSP for structural and MEP engineering, and Turner for construction management. Prompted by thoughtful student questions, the group discussed how each firm is involved in making a project come to life, from initial concept to grand opening. Throughout this year, ACE students will have the unique opportunity to act as architects, engineers, and construction managers– allowing for a comprehensive understanding of the industry.

Next up was a spaghetti structure activity which was an opportunity to put design and building skills to work. WSP mentors taught the students about the importance of triangles in achieving structural integrity, and then challenged five groups of students create the tallest structure out of spaghetti and marshmallows. In addition to height, the final structures would be judged on ability to resist loads, completion in the 30-minute time frame, and overall aesthetic appeal.

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Students exhibited great pre-planning and teamwork skills when working with their teams. After 30 minutes of hard work with difficult building materials, the structures were tested and measured. Although teams achieved various levels of success, with some structures collapsing under its own weight or as a result of the “earthquake,” students learned valuable lessons about structural strength, keeping to a project schedule, and working with multiple personalities within a team. Congrats to team 5 who achieved a structure that was 25 inches tall, able to withstand a simulated earthquake, and whose design mimicking the Eiffel Towel was judged to be the most architectural.

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Up next: National Competition introduction and voting; architecture activity.