Students in UTSA summer academy learn about architecture and design careers

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camp participant
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Elizabeth Graham (top) and Guillermo Garza, participants in UTSA architecture academy
Bottom photo: Design-build projects in the summer academy
>> View a video of the range of projects from the academy.

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(June 19, 2014) -- The UTSA College of Architecture is finishing up session one of the Summer Academy in Architecture and Interior Design -- a two-week introduction to the architecture and interior design careers. In the academy, students can decide whether the field is right for them, and curiosity is the only prerequisite.

Taught by College of Architecture faculty members, the academy offers hands-on insight into the creative and professional practice of architecture and interior design. And, to help them keep the university in mind, each participant receives a UTSA t-shirt, sketchbook, pencils, tracing paper, ruler and UTSA bag.

According to Stephen Temple, UTSA associate professor of architecture and director of the summer camp, the experience gives the students an idea of how they would interact with faculty and what the activities would be as they pursue a career in architecture, design or construction.

"The kids are understanding how designers think and what they will do after college when they enter the career," said Temple. "We've been doing a number of little projects similar to what first-year students would experience. We started them out by handing them a bunch of parts and asked them to build something, and they started right in."

Elizabeth Graham, age 16, from John Paul Stephens High School, highly recommends the academy.

"It's a lot of fun," she said. "They take us on these trips where we go around town and look at various types of buildings. We are meeting a lot of people in architecture and design firms. It gives you an idea of the work you would be getting into. We took apart a toaster and then rebuilt it, and we've done a lot with blocks and bricks to learn how buildings are put together."

Guillermo Garza, age 15 and a sophomore this fall at Ronald Reagan High School, also is very enthusiastic about the summer program.

"We have been experimenting with different materials for buildings," he said. "We look at living spaces and use geometry and symmetry in our designs. We're drafting a lot of pictures of buildings, and it's really fun. The trips to architecture firms are helping us understand the life of an architect and what he has to do. I want to be an architect. The academy has given me insight into choosing a career."

Running through June 20, the current session is for students age 14 and up. An Aug. 4-15 session for San Antonio ISD incoming 10th graders is supported by UTSA GEAR UP 2.

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For more information, visit the UTSA College of Architecture website.

For details on costs, registration and other information on camps, visit the UTSA Summer Camps website with a listing of all UTSA camps and links to find the one that's just right for you and your child.

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