CAMDEN, NJ— A program that introduces high school and middle school students to the fields of architecture, construction and engineering has expanded to Camden.

ACE Greater Philadelphia now has a team in Camden, led by Erica Anderson-Blaylock, of City Invincible Architecture, and Ron Kerins, of Greyhawk and ACE Board Vice-Chairman. The team formed when Kerins spearheaded the expansion effort of ACE Greater Philadelphia into New Jersey and brought City Invincible on board. 

The team consists of 15 students from Mastery High School of Camden and KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy who work with Anderson-Blaylock and Kerins, along with other mentors from Oracle, Synergy Environmental, and Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating. They meet every other week to learn more about the careers in the architecture, construction and engineering industries. They began meeting this January.

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“Forming this team relates to City Invincible’s mission to expand our connection to our local and larger community,” said Anderson-Baylock in a statement. “Our students like knowing that our work is local to Camden and enjoy hearing about what’s happening in their neighborhoods. They are able to personally connect with our projects because they find them to be relatable and relative to their daily experiences.”

The team is currently exposing the students to various information each week which connects to a culminating project the students are expected to complete by May. Each session provides the students with a presentation on a different discipline followed by a hands-on activity related to that topic.

Recently, the students focused on planning and urban design, in which they designed and built their own buildings and then worked together to develop a town.

"The students are intelligent, respectful young men and women.  They are enjoying the opportunity to participate in A/C/E related activities at a professional office,” Anderson-Baylock said.  “They are extremely interested in the subject matter we present to them each week. It is satisfying to watch their lightbulbs go off as they work through a new concept.”

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