ACTE Techniques May 2012 : Page 44

Fea ture 2012 Cliff Weiss Memorial Essay Contest Winners “ACTE IS PROuD TO I have been to Howard University’s School of Architecture and Engineering. We were able to meet and talk to archi -tecture students while they were working on projects. To my amazement, I found that the first year architecture students in college were doing projects similar to the ones we were doing in our junior year of architecture at Phelps. Last week I spent a school day at Reagan National Airport with one of the airport’s lead architects. He was certified with a master’s degree in architecture. He talked me through everything I would experience in 20 years. That is 20 years of my future that I can see already. This week, I interned at an architectural firm known as H.O.K. This firm is known around the world as one of the best architectural firms. They have about 17 global offices. They gave me their contact information and offered me an internship. Next week, I will shadow an architect at a firm in downtown DC. This opportu -nity was made possible by the American Institute of Architecture (AIA). They are also giving me an opportunity to intern at their DC headquarters. A few weeks ago, I was given the op -portunity to enter a contest to design a park that will actually be created at the waterfront in Southwest Washington, DC. I went to the site and met with the architects who have planned this new site at the waterfront. I doubt if I would have had all of these experiences if I was in a regular high school. Not many students in DC or the nation can say they have had these opportunities in less than a half of a school year. I’m seeing and experiencing things that many students don’t experi -ANNOuNCE THE WINNERS OF THE 2012 CLIFF WEISS MEMORIAL ESSAy CONTEST. THE 2012 ESSAy TOPIC IS ‘HOW DO YOU FEEL CtE pREpARES INDIVIDUALS, INCLUDING YOURSELF, FOR A FUtURE CAREER?’ NAIM OWENS FROM WASHINGTON, DC, AND COLISSA MENkE FROM WARRENSBuRG, MISSOuRI, ARE THIS yEAR’S WINNERS. ” PHOTO By ISTOCk.COM Naim Owens attends Phelps Archi-tecture, Construction & Engineering High School in Washington, DC. I was 11 years old when I decided that I wanted to be an architect. I built small buildings with LEGO pieces and video tapes. I would draw boxes and squares to make bigger shapes, always thinking about my designs but without any guide -lines. My creations were wild. They were chaotic, sometimes physically unrealistic to build or sustain. But I didn’t give up my dream of becoming an architect. In the eleventh grade, I enrolled in Phelps Architecture Construction and Engineering High School. Phelps is a career and technical education school that offers architecture as one of its nine CTE majors. At first, I thought that architecture was going to be one of those easy courses that wouldn’t really benefit me. I soon found out it was more than that. This course taught me the basics of what architects do. I am now designing, sketching, analyzing and thinking like an architect; I stay up late at night doing architectural projects. Phelps’ CTE pro -gram sponsors many different field trips to sites that are related to its CTE majors. 44 Techniques Ma y 2012

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