ACE students show project at “capstone” fundraiser

Take a look, and you’ll agree that these kids are graduating from a program that goes far beyond a ‘shop class’ …

In the Pacific Northwest Carpenters’ Institute lobby, guests look at the ACE Academy Capstone Projects on display.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Students completing the two-year program offered by ACE Academy for Architecture, Construction, and Engineering, showed off their “capstone projects” in front of family, friends, and school supporters, on the evening of May 2.

The outer East Portland technical charter school housed in the Pacific Northwest Carpenters’ Institute draws juniors and seniors from four mid-County school districts – and incorporates state-of-the-art technology tools and a college-accredited curriculum, career coaching, internships, and industry mentors.

Zach Zeuz, Thomas Vang, Jonathan Torres, Spencer Ledford, and Austin Sario show their capstone project: scale models of the Sellwood Bridge new West Side Landslide Mitigation Project to ACE Academy Director Mike Bryant.

Judy Kennedy of Pacific Northwest Federal Credit Union gets an explanation of the wiring display that is the capstone for ACE Student Justin Crader.

“The capstone project is selected by a student in the topic of interest they wish to further explore in post and secondary education experiences,” explained ACE Academy Director Mike Bryant. “Obviously, the topic needs to be in the realm of architecture, construction, or engineering.”

Students explore the elements of their capstone project with a mentor from the industry, Bryant added. “Through this project, students show us what they have learned in their educational experience here at ACE Academy. We ask them to tie math, science, and English into the project.”

Student Luis Hernandez shows his detailed house framing model to Dave Teller of Renaissance Homes. “I’ve just quizzed him,” Teller says, “he is really quite knowledgeable.”

How’s this for “going overboard” with a project? Dale Campbell, a retired general contractor, and Jay Minor, retired highway contractor, stand inside this capstone project with ACE Instructor Jon Bardeschewski and students David Voorhees and Alex Moore. With their crew, they’ve built a hunting cabin that will be transported to the top of Neal Butte in Eastern Oregon.

The students are encouraged to think big, and “go overboard” with their project, he said. “Along with their other studies, they spend almost three quarters of their senior year on it.”

Oregon State Representative Greg Matthews, District 50 (D), served as auctioneer at the event. On the way in, he told East Portland News, “I think this program is an amazing enhancement to education.  Their ‘active learning’ program gives kids an opportunity for options in life.”

Conducting the auction’s “paddle raise”, Oregon State Representative Greg Matthews District 50 helps the ACE Academy to fundraise.

If you have a student who may be interested in ACE Academy, and if you live in the Centennial, Gresham-Barlow, Parkrose, or Reynolds School Districts, CLICK HERE to learn how to explore this opportunity.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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