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  • Writer's pictureBarry Shaw

BSA Inc. Design & Construction Capstone Mentorship

Graduation Cap & Gown

Our dedication to soon-to-be high school grads whom are interested in pursuing education and a career in the Architecture business, continues:

We were asked by a student at a local high school in Broomfield, Colorado to provide a (1) year Capstone Mentorship, as part of his graduation requirements.

After an hour discussion on goals, commitments and preferred interest (i.e. design, construction, residential, commercial, etc.) in the profession, we agreed to provide a mentorship service per general guidelines from the school.

After close scrutiny of the school’s requirements, we came up with a pretty detailed Syllabus that broke down the schools tasks into a timeline, with activities interrelated to attainable milestones. As well, I had him keep a Journal of all the activities that were experienced.

The initial ‘meetings’ between myself and the Mentee, was planned to provide him with an overview of the various ‘segments’ of the design and construction industry and how they operate independently yet cohesively together.

Additionally I had him ponder, what is the value of architecture and how does it play a role in just about everyone’s life, now and into the future?; educational and licensing requirements; what are the major components of a building that you don’t see and what are their functions?; the purpose of a Building Department and where the Architects work culminates and when the General Contractor initiates his service; various types of communication skills Architects use and when; sustainable design; etc.

Assignments and events from the Syllabus included reading articles/books about architecture; sketching techniques; visiting an Architects office; on-site tour of a commercial project under construction in downtown Denver; photographic documentation and summary of building types under construction he saw while on vacation; tour of the local lumberyard and explanations of various types of lumber, hardware and tools; reading a set of plans; etc.

After about nine months of above and many more meetings that uncovered the voluminous aspects of ‘the business’, it was then time for him to put all of this together on a 20”x30” poster board, for presentation. Now we got to be a little creative with expressing his new knowledge of the architecture profession and his experiences during the mentorship, by designing the board with his story of what he learned and hopefully fine tune what aspect of his college major he would like to, at least initially, focus on.

It all came together beautifully with him submitting the board to his Counselor, whom graded it 100% complete.

It was again quite fulfilling for me to provide (35) years of experience in the design and construction industry to someone who could likely be designing, our built future.

Best Always!

Barry R. Shaw AIA, G.C.

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