Tea Time teaches engineering students about business relationships

Business meetings can be intimidating, especially when one hasn’t had a lot of experience with them. That’s one of the reasons why NHS teacher Mike Sogoian created “Tea Time” for his Civil Engineering and Architecture class

The activity aims to have students engage in a real-world simulation where they take on the role of designer and client in a meeting to create a custom bookmark. 

“Mr. Sogoian always finds ways to make class interesting and because of him I am noticing architectural styles in buildings where usually I would never notice or care,” said sophomore Dean Lowery. “We are never just sitting and taking notes for an hour, we are always actively engaged in whatever he is telling us.”

“Fun activities like Tea Time are what make Civil Engineering and Architecture one of my favorite classes, ” senior CJ Gibson said. “Offering CEA and other engineering courses reflects Niskayuna High School’s mission to empower students and provide them with unique learning opportunities.”

The exercise teaches students how to use conversation and carefully crafted questions to determine the client’s needs, give and receive feedback on design concepts and ultimately that walls can come down in business meetings with a little tea and biscuits!

“Talking with my partner over tea and hot chocolate created a chill environment and made learning and discussing our engineering designs for our project so much easier,” Gibson said. “It also gave us an idea of what it would be like to interview a client as a Civil Engineer or Architect.”