We at Coast 2 Coast value meaningful mentorship programs in our community.  This spring, members of the Coast 2 Coast team were proud supporters of the Technology Student Association. The TSA educates students beyond the classroom through hands-on technology, engineering, and mathematic programs and offers students a chance to pursue academic challenges among friends with similar aspirations and goals.

Coast2Coast Architectural STEM Mentor

This year we assisted Signal Mountain High School in Chattanooga, TN with designing a “Shipping Container Home” for TSA’s Architectural and Design Competition.  Guiding the team was our Emerging Technologies Director, Werner Slabber, who volunteered to mentor the team of 6 Junior-level high school students.

“As a LEED AP, I collaborate with architects, engineers, clients, coworkers every day using the same technology and processes,” said Slabber.  It was rewarding to share my experience and what I do day-to-day with the students and watch them adapt so quickly to new concepts.”

He began by leading the planning phase and introducing concepts of contracting and collaboration used in a professional office today. Three modelers from around the world also volunteered as “contractors” for the group.  Using Google Hangouts, students were able to communicate with these modelers and eventually delegate and direct the modeling process.  As the design phase began, students made sketches of the model and “red-lined” their design concepts and desired dimensions of windows, walls, ceilings, and details. As the project continued to develop, the students learned project management skills as they communicated each edit and addition to the contractors via Google Hangouts. Once tasks were delegated to the remote modelers, Werner introduced the students to the central file where they were able to watch and collaborate with the modelers as they made each edit and adjustment LIVE in Revit.  The project duration was about 8 hours to completion and the team coordinated meeting times with modelers in different time zones.

Red-Lined Architectural Drawings STEM Mentor
Architectural Drawings STEM Mentor

With all the adjustments identified, the team created model components using the Revit platform. The students noted all the dimensions from the model and translated them into tangible materials. The team created a 3D printed model and compiled the design concepts, architectural drawings, and their report into a submission package for entry into the contest. Their finished Shipping Container Home concept proved a great success and the team won 3rd place out of 12 teams. Today, nearly 4,000,000 middle and high school students nationwide are aspiring engineers, scientists, and technologists. We are proud of the students of Signal Mountain High and look forward to being a part of more TSA mentorship programs in the future.

TSA chapter members and students are able to share knowledge and ideas through competitive events, attend conferences on the state and national levels, and proactively develop skills at every step of the way. As the established leader in our industry, our goal is to help students acquire a greater depth of knowledge and excel in their future career aspirations. By emulating real-world experiences, the team applied collaborative problem-solving techniques and learned creative ways to leverage and combine technologies.