Marc-Antoine Blais Bélanger on his way to Tokyo
Last year, we partnered with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) as part of Chicago’s Engineering Futures Program. Amongst 17 participating CPS high schools, we were fortunate to team up with Lindblom Math and Science Academy. Our role in this new partnership is to build on each student’s curiosity about engineering and related technical fields to deal with real-world problems, introduce them to industry trends and prepare them for future success.
As we enter the second semester, students from the LMSA are back to continue learning from the talented team of architects and engineers at EXP, including Mindy Viamontes, AIA, project manager, Ji Won Noh, marketing coordinator, Matt Newman, PE, civil engineer and Hemal Patel, PE, SE, structural engineer. They methodically mapped out their time with the students through a series of six sessions to enhance their understanding of engineering and architectural design principles, harnessing their critical thinking and team building skills that can be applied in a wide variety of settings.
The students will tackle a semester-long project in which they will be challenged to design a new community center that takes up half of a 33,000 square foot lot in their neighborhood, incorporating all the skills they were taught to date. Among the many requirements, it will need a lobby, multipurpose rooms, computer and machinery labs, and community garden space. To be successful, they will need to consider how the facility will be used, anticipate impacts on the environment, and how the facility will connect to the city around it.
The 12 students will be divided into two teams to conceptualize, design, refine and present their ideas.
Over the course of six sessions, our volunteer architects and engineers will guide each group to decide upon and flesh out their concepts, consult with students in discipline-specific breakout sessions, work to improve their designs, and create a final presentation to impress the community.
We look forward to hosting these capable students for another semester of learning and discovery.