Construction Project Creates a ‘Living Laboratory’ On Legacy High School Campus

LOS ANGELES (March 30, 2017) - Students in STEAM High School on the Legacy High School Complex will collaborate with architects and contractors building a middle school on the same campus, giving them first-hand experience in 21st century careers.

Carla Barrera-Ortiz, principal of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics High School, sees the upcoming middle school construction as a way to create a living laboratory for learning.

“I make it my responsibility to expose my students to STEM professionals for internship opportunities and careers that will help change the face of these industries,” Barrera-Ortiz said.

STEAM High is partnering with the nonprofit Architecture, Construction and Engineering Students (ACES)  to provide an introduction to myriad career options. Workshops were held last weekend, when more than 100 students, teachers and parents met with architects, engineers and contractors who will be working on the middle school project.

“This is a groundbreaking opportunity,” Barrera-Ortiz said. “By collaborating with these professionals, we are giving our teachers and students direct access to this highly skilled job market.  Early exposure to these industries will create a demand for courses and programs that prepare our students for the 21st century STEM workforce.”

Veronica Soto, founder and executive director of ACES, said the partnership will help open doors for students who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to succeed.

“It is critically important that we create opportunities for minority students to engage with industry professionals, specifically in the STEM fields, to cultivate the industry professionals of tomorrow,” Soto said.

Sophomore Ariana Valdovinos attended the workshops and said she is looking forward to future activities.

“I appreciate learning with my teachers about sound engineering and how green energy materials are making breakthroughs in construction,” she said. “I feel a step closer in defining my future.”

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Contact: Elvia Perez Cano, 213.241.6766                                                

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