Every Thursday, from 4:00 – 6:00pm, two other WHSAD students and I attend ACE at STV, an architecture and engineering firm located near Union Sq. ACE stands for Architecture, Construction management, and Engineering, and is a four year program for high school students interested in one of the previously stated fields. Every year our team, team 11, chooses a project related to Columbia University’s campus, and design all the different aspects of it, as well as think about the structural components too. So if we were to actually build the structure, it would function the way it’s supposed to.
This year we are designing a new field house for the athletic campus near The Bronx, which would include multiple locker rooms, storage space for equipment, offices for coaches, a public lobby for visitors, as well as other areas not listed. So far we have decided what rooms we need to include, what the outline of the building is going to look like, where it’s going to be located, and are currently working on the floor plans for each of the floors. We have to place things like elevators, plumbing, columns, and stairs that run through the whole building, as well as things that are unique to each floor, like rooms, doors, windows, and hallways.
So far I have learned about all the things you have to think about when designing a building and how important each aspect is to the overall design. I often find myself thinking about the things I do or don’t like about other buildings and structures I’ve seen before and what could be improved to make them more useful and efficient. Therefore, not only have the things I’ve learned so far in ACE helped me improve my understanding of architecture and engineering to make my time there easier, but the work I’m doing in ACE has affected how I think about the things I see in my everyday life.
Even though I have only attended ACE for a couple of months, it has been a very fun and very rewarding experience, and I definitely suggest it to any other high school students who are interested in architecture, even just a little bit. When I signed up for the program, I wasn’t even sure if I would enjoy it, but since I started I realized how much I like learning about all the different aspects of architecture and engineering. Being exposed to these fields a little has helped me get a bit more of an idea of what I want to do in the future.
One of the great opportunities at WHSAD is ACE Program. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s basically a program that teaches you the disciplines and processes of working on projects as an engineer and an architect. The reason I joined this program is mainly I was very motivated to learn more about engineering, and I was beyond excited to start for the team I requested to join: team 11. We meet every Thursday, at 4:00 – 6:00 PM in 225 Park Avenue South.
In middle school, I didn’t attend after school programs very much. So joining the ACE program and other clubs at the school as a freshman was a big change for me. Thankfully I was ready for the change, and it has only made me happier. I take the L train to 14 st – Union Sq and then it’s a little walk to 225 Park Avenue South. You’ll need an ID (school ID works) to enter the building and then you’re all set!
The first couple of meetings were basically mini lessons put together. After we all had a better idea of engineering and architecture, they gave us three choices, and every choice was for Columbia University.
The first choice was a new field house. The overall plan for this was to destroy an old field house on one of Columbia’s campuses and design a new one to replace it. The second choice was a new stage for one of Columbia’s campuses. The overall plan for this one was to raze some old buildings that aren’t being used anymore and make a beautiful stage for events. I don’t remember the third choice so well, but I do remember it was going to be near a park and also for Columbia. Groups were split between the field house and the stage. I voted for the field house, and it was just one vote that changed everything! The mentors made it a little lesson for the people who picked the stage. Not everything you work on will be things you want to work on, sometimes you have to find enjoyment working on things you aren’t interested in.
In the most recent meeting, we were exploring and learning about structural engineering. We expanded on our floor plans for each level and worked like a structural engineer. In very simple form, structural engineering is adding support for the higher floors in your building. Overall, joining the ACE program was an amazing opportunity I went for, and I recommend everyone to join it if you’re interested in engineering and architecture!
Greetings to you all, today I wanted to talk about a program called ACE. This program helps us understand more about architecture and engineering. We all meet on Thursdays at 4:00pm to 6:00pm in 225 Park Avenue. Every team is different, but this was team 11’s meeting time.
We talk about real life situations and how we can solve them. We also get to have the chance of doing floor plans. Recently we have been learning about structural engineering and how it helps a lot in a building. In the beginning of these lessons we had mini lessons, and as we were starting to get more into the lessons we had to make a decision. We had a choice between three different things we can change at Colombia University. Our choices were a new field house, a new stage for the university, and if I remember correctly, a local park that the university was located near. We chose to build a new field house. We have gone through what we wanted in the field house, and what design we wanted it to be. So far we are working on the floor plans and what we should add on it for the building to keep its structure. All of these lessons are really helpful to me!
I am really interested in architecture and ACE has helped me understand more about this major. I am thankful that WHSAD has introduced us students to ACE, and I’m looking forward to what else we will learn.