Supporting the Next Generation of Engineers and Architects

25 / August / 2017

Stratford STEM Magnet High School is a public high school in Nashville, Tennessee, that specializes in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Barge Design Solutions has supported Stratford for many years as classroom speakers, competition judges, and job shadowing mentors. For Danny Brough, a Project Engineer in Nashville and ASE (Academy of Science and Engineering) Advisory Board member at Stratford, being involved with the students has been a great opportunity to lead and share his knowledge and skills in service of others.

Brough explains, “I’m involved to show students that school can be more than learning about math, science, or reading. We’re showing these students how to apply what they are learning to tangible, real-world opportunities.” He has also enjoyed working with the school’s teachers to help them develop curriculums and plans for the school year. “In 2015, we hosted six teachers and took them through two days of work as a civil engineer, reviewing plans and meeting with people from around the company. We took them on a site tour of downtown Nashville and discussed the issues and considerations we made for different projects. The teachers were able to take what they learned and turned it into a nine-week unit that used civil engineering to drive home points in their respective fields.”

Along with supporting the students and teachers at the school, Barge Design Solutions is involved with the ACE (Architecture, Construction, Engineering) Mentor Program of America, an after-school program that introduces students to careers in architecture, construction management, engineering and other disciplines. The ACE Mentor Program is driven by volunteer mentors who are practicing professionals in their respective field. Students visit professional offices, job sites and other relevant locations. Over the course of the school year, students complete a design project, discussing the same issues and performing the same tasks as if they are employed in the industry. The project is later presented at a year-end banquet. ACE gives them a practical hands-on view of how abstract concepts get transformed into the buildings that make up our everyday reality.

“I’m so impressed with the opportunities that the students have at Stratford,” says Brough. “I’ve been really impressed with some of the projects they have done from 3D drafting to model making with a 3D printer.” He hopes to expand Barge Design Solutions’ involvement with the school to continue the company’s support of the next generation of potential engineers and architects.