First ACE-RI Mentor Program Summer Workshop at RISD

Seven area ACE students completed the first ACE-RI Summer Workshop at RISD on July 2. The seven-day program was led by RISD Architecture Prof. Gabriel Feld. Prof. Feld introduced the concept of how small elements can make large structures. Working in teams and with recycled cardboard boxes, the students experimented with different shapes and patterns in an effort to make as tall a tower as possible. The largest structure they fabricated with over 17 feet tall.

ACE Providence and NRI Students Present Projects

ACE students, mentors and family members from the Providence and Northern Rhode Island groups gathered at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence to celebrate the accomplishments of the student over the past six months. After recognizing the students with the most outstanding attendance records, the evening was turned over to the students to present their projects.

The group of returning students from Northern Rhode Island section started things off, presenting their shoreline redevelopment project that will be entered into the national design competition. The students selected and identified a portion of beach in Barrington, RI and studied the location’s historical evolution before developing a plan to re-build and protect the shoreline. (See the NRI Student's Poster)

Providence returning students then took the stage to present their project that will also be entered in the national design competition. Like the NRI group, the Providence students chose to complete the Shoreline Design Challenge. For their Pawtuxet River Revial project, the students chose to design an elevated structure with a nature education center and restaurant connecting to the surrounding land via a bridge. The restaurant was designed to offer expansive views of their site and was elevated substantially to protect it from rising sea levels and from flooding. (See the Providence Student's Poster)

After hearing a sampling of what they have to look forward to in their next year with ACE, the first year students from NRI and Providence took a turn to present the projects they spent the second half of the year working on. In both sections, students spend the first half of the year learning about many of the facets of careers in the fields of Architecture, Construction and Engineering as well as completing hands-on projects related to the topic they learned about. 

For the second half of the year, the three NRI groups each designed on part of a three-story, three-house row house at a site located in Pawtucket. (See the NRI First Year Student's Posters) In Providence, the five groups each took put their own spin on a three-story building on S. Main St. in Providence. (See the Providence First Year Student's Posters) For all groups the three-story building comprised a first floor retail space with the second and third floors intended as a single family dwelling. Some groups also chose to take advantage of the basements or roof-tops of their buildings to expand their retail spaces. Working in groups the students selected a business for their retail space and designed floor plans for all three levels. Working in their choice of pencil and paper, Google SketchUp and physical models the students communicated the design of their floor plan and layouts as well as exterior elevations.

While the Providence and Northern Rhode Island students were giving their presentations in Providence, the West Bay group also had their final presentations at New England Institute of Technology.

Wednesday night’s presentations marked the end of another successful year for the ACE Mentor Program of Rhode Island. We look forward to awarding scholarships to graduating seniors moving on to pursue a degree in one of the ACE fields as well as once more celebrating the accomplishments of the students at the annual gala to be held in late spring / early summer. We hope to see everyone back again next fall for another year of ACE.

ACE Providence and NRI Students Tour JWU's New Engineering Building Under Construction

Students and mentors were welcomed by the team at Dimeo Construction to their project at Johnson and Wales University in downtown Providence. The new building, scheduled to open in May of 2016 is the next of JWU's many projects in downtown projects and will serve the Engineering Department.

With the project only 3 months away from its target completion date, students and mentors were able to see the work of a variety of several trades currently working on the building. With the primary structure mostly complete and finishes and fit-out underway in several areas of the building, the large scale project with many portions at different stages of completion, students were exposed to the many complex pieces that must fit together precisely for a building to be constructed.

Special thanks to Dimeo Construction for opening their site to the ACE students and to the many members of the Dimeo team who led a very complete tour of the building and were able to answer questions about the project and their day to day responsibilities as well as provide insight about the path they each took to get where they are in the construction industry.

ACE NRI Students Complete Space Planning Activity

Students in the ACE NRI Section spent the afternoon learning about architecture and then took on the challenge of designing a single-story home. Local Architect, ACE Volunteer and RISD Professor Jim Barnes introduced students to architecture by talking about the path to architectural licensure, the requirements to maintain a license as well as the day to day requirements of being an architect. Jim also reminded students (and mentors) the value of involving yourself in the community and expanding your professional network.

After hearing from Jim, students broke out into small groups to design their own take on a one-story, single family home with on a provided site. Students managed site layout, practical space planning requirements and functionality while taking the "client's" input in coming up with the preferred layout. After settling on a preliminary layout, students sketched their ideas and  presented to the other groups.

As is always the case in design, each group tackled the challenge differently and each came up with their own well thought out and unique house designs.

See the designs.

ACE Prov. and NRI visit Roger Williams University

Thanks to the Bus transportation provided by RWU, students from the Providence and Northern Rhode Island groups had a successful visit to Roger Williams University. ACE students, guided by students from Engineering, Architecture and Construction Management were shown academic spaces and labs of each of the three [ACE] departments. At the conclusion of the tours a panel of former ACE students described life in college and answered questions. Four ACE-RI graduates were on the panel, including three current freshmen in Architecture.

ACE RI Open House Night Kicks off 2015-2016 Year with Gum Drop Pasta Challenge

ACE RI kicked things off at all three Rhode Island locations on October 21st with the annual Gum Drop Pasta Challenge. After an introduction to the ACE Mentor Program for students and interested parents, students worked together in small groups under the guidance of mentors to construct towers using only pieces of spaghetti and gum drops or marshmallows. With these limited materials, students constructed towers climbing as high as 4 feet!

Interested in ACE? Its not too late to join. ACE Meetings will continue regularly on Wednesday afternoons throughout the school year. Check your local section for specific meeting times and locations as well as holidays.

ACE Mentor Program of Rhode Island Awards Five Scholarships

Sponsors, mentors and scholarship recipients came together at the Roger Williams Casino on June 11th to celebrate the accomplishments of the three sections of the ACE Mentor Program of Rhode Island. In addition, Chairman Lance Aleksiewicz presented five local high school seniors from this year's group of students with scholarships to support their pursuit of a degree in one of the A/C/E fields.

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West Bay Final Presentations

What a night! Over seventy people were in attendance to view the final presentations from the ACE RI West Bay students. While the young men and women loaded the presentations, their parents, siblings and invited guests were treated to an appetizer buffet by our hosts, the New England Institute of Technology. The eight presentations started at 4:20 and were wrapped up by 5:40. Many of the participants expressed an interest in returning next year. All agreed the students had fulfilled the mission of demonstrating a sincere interest in the challenges of a career in Architecture, Construction, and Engineering.

ACE Students in Providence Now Can Receive High School Credit

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve been approved as an “Extended Learning Opportunity” in Providence. Achieved in collaboration with the Providence Afterschool Alliance (PASA), this new status means that Providence students participating in the ACE Mentor Program get elective credit on their school transcript if their schools offer ELO programs to students. This is an exciting addition to our existing ELO status in Woonsocket and Central Falls high schools.