At the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, ACE Mentor Program’s kickoff meeting this fall, Thornton Tomasetti engineers, joined by industry colleagues, helped introduce the fields of architecture, engineering, and construction to more than 30 students from three area schools.
– By Alexandra Davis, Corporate Sustainability intern
This school year has so far seen 60 Thornton Tomasetti employees volunteer with the ACE Mentor Program across 13 U.S. locations. More than 9,000 students from 1,000 high schools, many from economically challenging backgrounds, participate annually in ACE. These students gain exposure to the world of architecture, construction and engineering thanks to the industry professionals who volunteer to share their expertise and guidance.
Among similar-sized firms involved in the program, Thornton Tomasetti can boast a high participation rate, with an average 5 percent of employees taking part over the past four years. Our involvement in ACE goes back to 1994 when Founding Principal Charles Thornton and several others established the organization. Twenty-four years later, we continue this legacy of supporting STEM education and careers through the program, with the recognition that giving back to the next generation will strengthen, and help increase diversity within, the industry.
Our Tampa office welcomed 13 mentors, who helped 30 students master the common AEC industry lingo with a game of bingo.
It isn’t all centered on structural engineering. Students mentored by our Portland team participated in a mock sustainability charrette and designed their own high-performance lab building. In addition to staff volunteering as mentors, our Washington, D.C., office sponsors several scholarships annually through the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and provides other funding to support female ACE students interested in pursuing careers in the industry.
Our mentors look forward to continuing their engagement in 2019 as they dig deeper into STEM topics with their student groups and encourage these promising school children to think of a future in engineering and architecture.
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