DCI Engineers and NAC Architecture of Spokane teamed up on a lesson plan targeted for local junior high and high school teachers to learn about careers in engineering and architecture. The “Teaching the Teachers” workshop was sponsored by the Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI) Education and Workforce Department. The workshop program unites community business and education professionals to discuss how to prepare a technically skilled workforce for the future. At last month’s event, teachers received a crash course about the A/E/C industries so they can share what they learned with students who might be interested in becoming an engineer or architect.
The half-day workshop took place in two sessions at DCI and NAC Architecture offices. DCI’s presentation covered a general overview about the engineering industry and what qualities make a good engineer.
The staff mentioned must-have engineering skills include proficiency in math and physics, strong problem solving ability, computer literacy, technical writing know-how, and the ability to comprehend technical journals and building code references. DCI presenters also mentioned other skills advantageous in the profession, such as having a strong work ethic; being an adept communicator; and being organized. A good engineer/designer would also be able to work well in teams and independently; be a self-starter; self-manage his/her work and develop efficient work progressions; and be creative in visualizing completed projects.
Principal Craig Crowley and other DCI staff members spoke about the engineering team’s recent work with the downtown Macy’s building on Main Street. The project was used to demonstrate some of the skills necessary for making the project a success. Project challenges were discussed from all perspectives including civil engineering, structural engineering, and BIM Design.
The architectural portion of the workshop was held at NAC Architecture’s office. They showed a case study about the process of designing Spokane’s Ferris High School, listing the many agencies, companies, and individuals it took to design and build the 11-year project. A section was also presented on the current and future technology used in architectural design.
The presentation culminated with a detailed explanation of the path through education, examination, licensure, and certification for architects, engineers, and interior designers. The group also provided online resources that teachers can use to help guide students aspiring to these careers.
Workshop attendees also learned there is significant demand for architects and engineers in the U.S., and there are many opportunities for successful and satisfying careers for their students.
About the Author
Marty Orchard, CPSM, is the regional marketing manager at NAC Architecture in Spokane. He has more than 20 years of experience in marketing, communications, and business development in the architecture, engineering, and construction industries.
Rose Bechtold, Communications Specialist | Rose comes from a journalism and technical writing background. She is in her element while in research mode and naturally immerses herself in expert knowledge by interviewing staff members about new subjects. In her spare time, Rose practices plein-air sketching of buildings and random scenes around town.