Summer camp for several local students involved working with concrete, visiting an engineering lab, and learning about building industries from professionals, including some with firms in Brentwood.
Middle Tennessee State University hosted the fifth annual ACE Mentoring Camp Program, which wraps up Friday.
High school students from Brentwood, Columbia, Nashville, Atlanta and Birmingham had the chance to live on the MTSU campus while they learned about the university’s concrete and construction management, architecture and interior design, and engineering programs.
ACE — architecture, construction and engineering — and its mentor program is a national, 18-week after-school option for students interested in pursuing a building industry career. The ACE Camp, which is funded by MTSU and the ACE Mentor Program, is free to attendees.
School of Concrete and Construction Management Director Heather Brown and the program’s lab director, Kevin Overall, guided the students in making concrete cylinders during the July 17 morning session.
Nine professionals oversaw their hands-on progress and collaborating in teams with architecture and design exercises.
Jack Tipton, regional director of the ACE Mentoring Program, said there’s a “big demand and we would love to have them in our industry.” He added diversity is a major factor in the makeup of camp participants.
Camp attendees heard from MTSU alumna Elizabeth Kurtz, a 2015 graduate, who assisted with the architect and design portion July 17. She has worked for Inner Design Studio in Brentwood for two years.
Holly Baird of Nashville, regional director with the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council, attended for the fifth year as “a way to support the architect, engineering and design profession and encourage these young students to pursue a path in one of these vocations.”
Others guiding the campers through the architecture and interior design phase included Alan Hayes, Maggie Wohltjen, Rachel Gresham and Annsley Reynolds with TMPartners PLLC in Brentwood and Sherry Mendel and Cory May with Nashville’s Earl Swensson Associates.
Tom Gormley, associate professor of concrete and construction management, helped facilitate many of the on-campus activities.
The group visited Roscoe Brown Inc. and toured the new justice center in Murfreesboro Tuesday (July 18).
The rest of the week finds them on campus July 19 and July 21, sandwiched around a road trip to Nashville to visit the new Tennessee State Museum construction site, conduct an activity with Vanderbilt University’s engineering department and tour a bridge building and green studio.
Tipton said the ACE Mentor board hopes to expand the camp in the future and seeks new mentors. Interested students apply with an essay and need a STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — background. For more, visit http://www.acementor.org/affiliates/tennessee/nashville/about-us/.