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Academy of Engineering & Architecture News

Academy of Engineering and Architecture News
Habitat for Humanity Community Service

The Academy of Engineering and Architecture participated in their 7th “Habitat for Humanity” community service day in early October. Students who were 16 years and older spent a Saturday in the City of Buffalo remodeling a very old home. Habitat for Humanity Buffalo is a charitable organization seeking to alleviate the shortage of quality housing in Buffalo. Volunteers work in partnership with people in need to build and renovate decent, affordable housing. The houses are then sold to pre-qualified families at no profit.


Habitat Community Service Students Natalie Harack, Ethan Farkas, Steve Sass, Isaac Gifford, Joe Karl, Kyle Bortz, Harold Wagner, Grayson Dolata, Evin Steele, Dan Gazdovich, Tim Reese, Kyle Matheis and Brandon Dirmyer, along with the Academy Advisors June Mikulski and Chris Cook, were divided into teams involved with several different tasks during the day. Some students dug fence post holes, mixed the concrete and installed the posts, while others were instructed to rip out drywall and screw in the new drywall. A group of more adventurous students headed down to the murky crawlspace to install a vapor barrier and rolled insulation.


The Academy Advisory Board felt this was the perfect fit for this group of students. Not only did they get a good look at the structural foundation of a building, they saw the value of volunteering. The students commented on what a worthwhile community service activity it was and that they had fun and enjoyed the hard work! They were happy with the progress that was made and are ready to go back again.

Academy Holds its Annual Picnic


The annual Academy family picnic was held for over 100 students, family members, board members and faculty last June in Gratwick Park. The teachers cooked up lots of hot dogs, hamburgers and sausages while the families brought salads, snacks and desserts. Students Kyle Bortz and Joe Karl squared off in the first annual hamburger cooking contest. Each brought their own pre-made burger which they grilled and was taste-tested by teachers. Both burgers were amazing and a winner was not declared. During the picnic, families and the students got to meet newly selected eighth graders and welcomed them to the academy.


The usual Kan Jam, soccer, free-form Frisbee and football games were the pre-dinner activities. After eating the entire group paired up for the three-legged races. Students and parents also participated in a team engineering competition. Teams included a student from each grade level and a team of parents.  They were given a roll of duct tape and 3”x 3” wood platform. The teams had 10 minutes to build a tower with the materials they were given. The goal was to create the tallest tower that remained standing for at least 30 seconds.


After each structure was tested, the winners were students Dawson Johannes, Josh Braymiller, Clayton Keleher, Dan Gazdovich and new academy member Sam Pritchard. 


It was wonderful to have such a great group of students and adults celebrate engineering and architecture in such a manner.  We appreciate the help that our Advisory Board (made up of parents, teachers and area businesses) contributes.  It demonstrates the great support and success of the Academy of Engineering and Architecture.