It is easy to go to work when you have days like the one we shared with students in the Academy of Engineering at Carver High School at the end of May. As part of Bridging the Gap, tenth-grade students brought the school year to a close with a three-part trip to explore career options in the related fields of architecture and construction.
The day began with a tour of the Alabama Theatre, during which students learned about the history of the theatre and its artworks and observed the engineering of the historic Big Bertha Wurlitzer in action, with her intricate pipe system set inside the theatre walls. Inside lobby, Carver student Corina Shipp had an epiphany. “This is what I want to do,” she says. “I want to design beautiful things.”
Next, community outreach coordinator and TEDxBirmingham speaker Glenny Brock led students through the Lyric Theatre, a Birmingham landmark that is currently under massive reconstructive. Students observed the building through the lens of its scaffoldings, walked on the top-level ‘dance floor’ to examine its murals, and followed in the footsteps of theatrical legends on the 100-year-old stage. Brock spoke candidly with students about the era of segregation, its implications in the construction of the building, and the city’s decision to preserve that history in the reconstruction.
“This is the magic of Birmingham,” said student She’Lah Shreve. “People need to see these places and know our history.”
For the last part of the day, students travelled to Dunn Construction Company, where Bo Walters and Ryan Ferris talked with students about their educational and career paths, the perks of being a building science major, and the differences in the day-to-day jobs of the people who build roads and the people who build buildings.
In this month’s Student Voice, Corina and She’Lah tell us more about the day from their own point of view. Watch the video below and check out more pictures from the event here.