Not many high school students can say their work has influenced massive building projects around Indianapolis, but that’s exactly what happens with the ACE (Architecture, Construction and Engineering) Program at the IPS Career Technology Center! Students are guided by local professionals to complete a full proposal for an upcoming project in our city.

Each year, students from ACE teams across the city are given a project to spend the year researching and planning. Students learn about the variety of professions linked to these construction projects including subcontractors, engineers, project managers, architects and more. Beginning in September, ACE teams complete several site visits to buildings similar to those they are planning. Then, students complete drafts, blueprints and a scale model of their proposed project.

The projects these teams create each year aren’t just for show; they inspire the final designs for real-life construction projects, including the Ronald McDonald House, Eskenazi Hospital, and the Kids Zone for Super Bowl XLVI! This year, ACE teams are proposing a new fire station in Speedway tying in to the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

“Having a real-life influence really builds community interaction,” said Adrian Russell, a former Arsenal Technical High School student who took part in the ACE program and returned to mentor. “This active mentorship program really helps students to network with working professionals and helps them to create links to summer jobs and internships.”

“The real-life experience is amazing,” said ACE student Darian. In his senior year, Darian is confident the skills and contacts he’s gaining through ACE will help him launch a professional career.

“And the scholarships don’t hurt, either,” added classmate Emmanuel. At the Indianapolis ACE banquet each May, many students are awarded scholarships to assist financially as they study construction-related fields after high school.

We are so grateful for the local professionals who donate their time to helping our students succeed. Be sure to look for the influence of our scholars in future construction projects in your neighborhood!