The Lunz Group Participates in Second Annual Summer Trades Academy

Fifty Polk County students of all backgrounds and skill levels were selected to participate in the second annual Summer Trades Academy. This free multi-vocational camp provides students in grades 8-12 with exposure to industry professionals and future career paths. Sponsored by the Lakeland Police Department, Polk County Public Schools, and Lowe’s, this camp is designed to educate high school students all about industry trades, including architecture, engineering, interior design, carpentry, and much more.

Lakeland Police Lieutenant Joe Parker organized the camp. Lt. Parker wanted to develop a program to give high-school-aged kids the option to stay out of trouble in the summer, but also build an investment between businesses and the youth in the community.

“I knew firsthand how hard it was and is to find good skilled help… we thought a trades program would be a great opportunity to build our own workforce in our own community… [The Summer Trades Academy was] a great way to build our police/young-citizen relationship,” Parker said.

Through his connections and background as commercial superintendent in construction, Parker was able to bring students to field visits, one of those located at Orlando International Airport. Not only were these young minds able to observe an active construction site, but they also had the opportunity to learn from industry professionals.

The Lunz Group headed to Teneroc High School this year to educate students on architecture and interior design. Dari Sanders, a designer with The Lunz Group, shares her experience interacting with the students.

“We spoke to students about the different elements of architecture. We also provided them with one handout of math problems they would utilize in architecture and a fill-in-the-blank handout for them to guess project types.”

Ms. Sanders was pleasantly surprised to hear a few students were familiar with some of the programs utilized in Architecture. She noted the students were engaged and excited. “It’s encouraging to know they’ve had exposure to this content, if they decide to pursue a career [in this field],” Ms. Sanders said.

Emily Breheny, a Registered Architect with The Lunz Group, led an activity that gave students the opportunity to design and build their own structure.

Mrs. Breheny and Ms. Sanders enjoyed leading multiple topics, discussions and activities, including Technology, Typologies, and Reading a Floor Plan. Each section was interactive with the students and most were accompanied by an activity, like match the building with it’s typology.

“One activity that seemed to resonate with the students was creating a structure using only paper and tape, with the goal of withstanding ‘hurricane winds’ or ‘earthquakes.’ Ms. Sanders and I fanned the structures to simulate a hurricane and shook the table to simulate an earthquake. The activity allowed for hands-on learning of the importance of design, engineering, and craftsmanship [quality of work],” said Mrs. Breheny.

The paper structures were timed to see which tower would last the longest and duration of time. Mrs. Breheny recalls the students were engaged and excited for the challenge.

Photos Courtesy of Kimberly C. Moore, LkldNow.

Christa Broderick, a Registered Interior Designer for The Lunz Group, finds it rewarding to spend time and educate these students on her profession. This is her second year presenting at the Summer Trades Academy.

“It is important to introduce the younger generations into the Architecture and Interior Design industry so they can explore another avenue of interest when they graduate from school. It is important to me to teach information to the students, especially the differences of licenses, certified professionals, and the process it takes to become a professional Interior Designer,” Ms. Broderick said.

The Lunz Group brought in about 50 items for students to observe and discuss materials and finishes related to interior design. Ms. Broderick also conducted a Star Wars vs. Star Trek ice breaker with students to relate the Star Trek universe to the sciences of Interior Design.

Bradley Lunz, President of The Lunz Group, expressed to students that architecture is a methodical and rewarding profession. From pen on paper to a ribbon cutting at the front doors, architects help others implement their ideas. In addition, Mr. Lunz shared that architecture is not just buildings, it opens how we see the world.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for students in our community to be immersed in multiple industries at an impactful age. They can utilize the skills gained at this camp later in life, even if they decide to pursue different industries,” Mr. Lunz stated.

Our team from The Lunz Group, composed of Mrs. Breheny, Ms. Broderick, Ms. Sanders, and Mr. Lunz, were humbled to participate in this experience. For more information about the Summer Trades Academy, click here.