South Carolina


Our Fifth Year

We have continued to strengthen our two programs at Stall High and St. John’s High, and have expanded to a 3rd high school.  Our new high school is the Low Country Tech Academy, an extension of Burke High School.  We are very excited about this program and call it the “Downtown Program”.  Below is a picture of one of the high tech learning stations that our ACE classroom has.  This classroom was custom built for a new class called “Clean Energy”.  Students from Burke as well as other schools, are bussed in to take this special class.  The school district graciously allowed us to use the classroom for our ACE classes.

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Our Fourth Year

We have strengthened our two programs at Stall High and St. John’s High. This year both schools are designing a “Micro House”, which uses an 8’x40’ shipping container as the basis of the design. There will be a little competition going on between the schools this year. We also had a very successful ACE in the Hole Golf fundraiser in the fall. For the banquet, we have found a new location at the Woolfe Street Playhouse. This will certainly be a classy event in this historic location. 

See below for pictures:

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Our Third Year

We are currently in our third year with very strong programs here in the Charleston area. We have consolidated our schools to include a second year at Stall High School in North Charleston, and a first year program at St. John’s High in the John’s Island area of Charleston. Burk High School was put on hold so that they could proceed with their plans to strengthen the STEM programs and other college-supported programs that are being developed there. Stall High had a very successful year last year, and they are entering this year with a super group of kids, a new team leader (Tom Magee) and a new champion. We look forward to an even better year this year. As for our new ACE team at St. Johns, we are doing things a little different. The St. John’s school staff was so excited about the program that they offered us actual class time to hold ACE classes. We will meet every other week during first period, which meets from 7:25am to 8:55am. The St. Johns team leader, Rob Turner, feels very good about this arrangement because it will be first thing in the morning when the students are just starting their day. In addition, we will have access to a carpentry lab and a design lab with CAD computers. We look forward to the year and to healthy growth over the coming years. See below for our presentation of a plaque of appreciation to the Mayor of Charleston this year for his continued support.


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Our Second Year

In our second year, we have expanded the program to include a second year program at Burke High School, and a brand new program at Stall High School in North Charleston. The kids at Stall have joined the program with a lot of enthusiasm and participation. They have drawn floor plans of their homes, made inspirational posters of architectural features that interest them, visited a large architect’s office for a tour, and spent several weeks designing, building, and testing bridges made from only pop sickle sticks and hot glue. Soon they will visit a real construction site, learn about contractor duties, and proceed towards work on their final presentations. The Burke group is doing great as well, and have enlisted a similar schedule. We will have a combined Banquet this year – details to follow. See below for a video of the fantastic bridge building skills of the Stall group. Be sure to watch the last bridge because it holds an incredible amount of weight before it crashes to the floor.


Our First Year

The Charleston Chapter is brand new this year. We are doing the spring semester with Burke High School, a newly renovated school right off the "cross town" of down town Charleston. We have 11 people on our board (with more to come), of which seven are full time mentors. Our student group at the first mentor class numbered four girls and four guys. There are at least two other students who are in process of joining the program by the next class. We hope to get their paperwork and registration completed in the coming days.

Our first class was really neat. We did "truth, truth, lie" as our ice breaker, and learned quite a bit about each other. The architects (see pictures) started the class with a "scavenger hunt" on a small set of drawings that each student group was given. This task was preceded by a basic description of the drawings, the basic terminology, and a description of the trades that make up the drawing package.

Finally, we handed out architectural magazines to all the students and challenged them to become inspired. Our project is to design a senior lounge at Burke High School. At our next meeting, we intend to let them share pictures and presentations of pages of the magazines that inspired them. It will be great to see what look the students select for their student lounge.

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