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Ace Mentor Program receives recognition from Obama; about the North Iowa program

The White House has just announced that ACE is one of eight recipients for the prestigious 2011 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). PAESMEM is the nation’s highest award for mentoring. Since its establishment in 1996, approximately 200 individuals and organizations have earned this distinction.

ACE North Iowa is proud to be an affiliate member of this nationally recognized program. Since 2009-10 ACE North Iowa has been actively engaged in partnership programming with the Mason City Community School District working with students who have an interest in Architecture, Construction and Engineering through the Mentor Program and Curriculum.

The ACE Mentor Program of America, started nationally in 1994, was designed to help high school students gain awareness about career opportunities in architecture, construction, and engineering and related trades through mentoring by professionals in those fields.

The ACE – North Iowa program includes:

Mentoring – A team of professionals volunteer 1-1/2 hours
weekly to introduce high school students to the steps involved in a construction project, from conception to design and construction.

Students – The ACE – North Iowa program can accept up to 24 students. The program meets weekly at Mason City High School on Wednesdays after school for 16 weeks. During the 2011-2012 school year the program will be incorporated into the regular school day schedule so that more students will be able to take advantage of this partnership
Project – The students and mentors select a project to work on during the year. Although the project is not actually constructed, the student teams work through the project as if they actually had the funding and resources to complete it.

Through the process, the student teams gain real-world insight into the professions of architecture, engineering, and construction.

Scholarships – Several scholarships are offered as part of each ACE program. During 2009 – 2010, three students received $500 scholarships which were donated by Bergland & Cram Architects, Holabird & Root (engineering design), and Henkel Construction.

ACE –North Iowa started at Mason City High School during the 2009-2010 school-year with an initial class of 12 students and 6 volunteer mentors.

Scott Tornquist, engineer, spearheaded the effort to establish an ACE program at Mason City High School. A steering committee was formed to provide overall vision to the effort. That committee consisted of:

•Scott Tornquist (engineer, construction background, Career Advisory member, and liaison to ACE Iowa)
•Anita Micich (MCCSD Superintendent, Career Advisory member)
•Randy Cram (Bergland & Cram Architect – Architecture)
•Kent Brcka (Henkel Construction Company – Construction)
•Scott Sweet (WHKS – Engineering)
•Patti Tornquist (IMT – Engineering)
•Jerry Siglin (MCCSD – ex officio)
•Kathy Schladweiler (MCCSD – ex officio)

The initial steering committee put together an outstanding team of mentors and since that time more mentors from across our region have graciously agreed to be part of this program.

•Martha Huntington (Bergland & Cram – Architecture)
•Monte Appelgate (Yaggy Colby Architects – Landscape Architecture)
•Kent Brcka (Henkel Construction Company – Construction)
•Scott Anderson (Midwest Roofing – Construction)
•Mark Rahm (City of Mason City – Engineering)
•Hal Hudson (NI Mercy Medical Center – Owner Representation, Engineering & Construction)

2010-2011 Steering Committee:
Jerry Siglin, Kent Brcka, Randy Cram, Kathy Schladweiler, Patti Tornquist, Scott Tornquist Note: The steering committee guided the efforts of ACE the first year, while we were a sub-affiliate of ACE Iowa (Des Moines)

Initial Board (Year 2 Effort):
Randy Cram, Kent Brcka, Scott Tornquist, Jerry Siglin, Scott Sweet, Anita Micich, Jean Ostrander
2011-2012 First year as independent affiliate

Current Board:
Scott Tornquist, Scott Sweet, Anita Micich, Jean Ostrander, Jerry Siglin, Scott Smed, Joshua Brueggeman
Mentors are professionals in the field and are recruited by the ACE-North Iowa Steering Committee.

Mentors 2009-2010:
– Kent Brcka (Henkel Construction) – Team Leader
– Monte Apelgate (Yaggy Colby)
– Hal Hudson (NI Mercy)
– Mark Rahm (City of Mason City)
– Martha Huntington (Bergland & Cram)
– Scott Anderson (Midwest Roofing Company)

Mentors 2010-2011
– Monte Apelgate (Yaggy Colby) – Co-Team Leader
– Hal Hudson (NI Mercy) – Co-Team Leader
– Scott Sweet (WHKS)
– Joshua Brueggeman (Accord Architecture)
– Mark Kroemer (Waggoner & Wineinger Architects)
– Ken Peterson (Retired-Ken Peterson Builders)

This program has resulted in connecting professionals in the field of Architecture, Construction and Engineering directly to high school age students. The presentations require that students present a “real world” project to the community that they have designed for the future. This past year the team of students used the opportunity to review the current MCHS Master Facility Plan to create a design for a new pool on site. This was presented to the Board of Education for the Mason City Community School District and they were so impressed that they wanted to make certain that our district had a copy of this design as we moved forward toward the actual construction of this portion of the campus.

For the students the community has provided scholarship toward their college education in one of these fields and also students have been able through the program to discover in themselves where their own interests lie. One student wrote that he wanted to be an engineer, but after entering the program determined that architecture was more appealing to him and to his skill sets.

Scott & Patti Tornquist ($1000.00): 10/9/09
Bergland & Cram ($500.00): 10/15/09 $500.00 scholarship awarded to Sheila Evans 3/3/10
Midwest Roofing Company ($100.00): 10/15/09
Mason City Overhead Door Company ($100.00): 10/15/09
Education Foundation, MC Comm. Schools ($200.00): 11/25/09
Henkel Construction Company ($500.00): 12/28/09 $500.00 scholarship awarded to Bryan Dannen 3/3/10
Holibird & Root ($500.00): 1/5/10 $500.00 scholarship awarded to Jordan Krull 3/3/10
Mason City Sunrise Rotary ($600.00): 1/7/10 $500.00 scholarship awarded to Nathan Tornquist 3/3/11
Scott Sweet ($150.00): 3/5/10
Mason City Jaycees ($100.00): 3/19/10
Mason City Noon Lions ($100.00): 5/28/10
Matt Dodge Agency ($100.00): 11/4/10
Clint Thomas Agency ($100): 11/4/10
Moorman Clothiers ($100.00): 11/4/10
Dennis Riedel ($50.00) 11/12/10
Skott & Anderson Architects ($50.00): 11/24/10
Stadheim Jewelers ($100.00): 11/24/10
Mason City Sunrise Rotary ($500.00): 12/2/10 $500.00 scholarship awarded to Emily Hackman 3/3/11
Midwest Roofing Company ($100.00): 12/9/10
Yaggy Colby ($100.00): 12/16/10
Mason City Overhead Door Company ($100.00: 2/9/11

In addition the Mason City Community School District has provided support with administrators and teaching staff toward this program. A local restaurant, Whisky Creek, has provided refreshments for the end of project event and Mercy Medical Center North Iowa has provided space for the community presentations.

This is a dynamic and growing partnership within the Mason City community and across North Iowa area. The Mason City Community School District is proud to have the ACE North Iowa Chapter and Mentors supporting the students in their pursuit of engineering, architecture and construction careers.

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