Engineering Open House

The Governor’s Academy for Engineering Studies at L. C. Bird will host an Open House for all interested students and parents on November 18, 2021 6:30 – 8:00 pm.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP by clicking HERE.

** We ask that only one parent per student attend our open house to help maintain the safest environment possible.  Thank you so much for your understanding.**

specialty center logoGovernor’s Academy for Engineering Studies

Lloyd C. Bird High School is to provide a program of studies that allows the student to explore a wide range of engineering fields while building an understanding of the core skills necessary to further his/her education in engineering. The academic curriculum that a student follows is both rigorous and centered around a lab experience to better prepare the student for a rapidly changing technologically based field.

The goal of the center-based program is to provide:

  • An opportunity to take advanced classes in math or science.
  • A constant utilization of integrated computer skills.
  • A basis of practical understanding through an emphasis on design projects.
  • A detailed overview of expectations in a variety of engineering fields.
  • The opportunity for advanced credit for class work.
  • Field experience for an understanding of the correlation between class work and the work environment.
  • Information to help the students make a more informed decision on their future educational and career plans.

As a result of the center-based program, our students will graduate with:

  • A technologically enriched background
  • An understanding of the various fields of engineering..
  • An appreciation for the correlation between classroom, lab, and field studies.
  • Greatly enhanced written and oral communication skills.
  • A solid basis of problem solving and teamwork skills.
  • A unique background that enables them to make a more informed choice about their future goals and provides them with an advantage over other students who would be entering the engineering educational track at the college level, and taking engineering courses for the first time.

Specialty Center CoordinatorKathryn Clarke
Email[email protected]
Office: 804-768-6110, ext. 3064
Fax: 804-768-6117

About our Program

While attending the Governor’s Academy for Engineering Studies, students will have the opportunity to explore a wide range of engineering fields. Students will be challenged by a rigorous academic curriculum that will prepare them for college. We utilize project based learning and modern technology to prepare the students for tomorrow’s challenges.

What is Engineering?

Engineering is a field that requires math, science, art, and creativity to create something useful. It’s based around solving future challenges, such as creating new and renewable energy sources, building infrastructure, solving environmental issues, and countless other things.


In March of 1999, under the leadership of Mr. Joe Tylus, Principal of Lloyd C. Bird High School, a steering committee convened to start the planning of what today is known as the Virginia Governor’s Academy for Engineering Studies. The committee started with some essential questions: Why should a young person want to be an engineer and what, in a course of studies, would attract a young person to engineering? Over the next several months, the committee developed a mission statement and a program of study designed to “allow students to explore a wide range of engineering fields while building on an understanding of the core skills necessary to further his/her education in engineering” (Steering Committee Workbook).

Mrs. Robin Malone was the first center director for the Pre-Engineering Specialty Center and, under her guidance and administration, the center recruited its first cohort of 32 freshmen who entered Lloyd C. Bird High School in the fall of 2000. The Class of 2004 blazed a trail for students who followed and set a standard for enthusiasm and hard work. The following year, 42 freshmen entered the program and the center saw an increase in enrollment every year thereafter.

Mrs. Beth Teigen, a mathematics teacher in the program since its beginning, became the center director in 2004. As the program grew, so did the number of applicants and entering freshmen. Each subsequent cohort grew until there were over 50 freshmen entering the program each year. Mrs. Teigen was promoted to Assistant Principal in the summer of 2005, and Mrs. Nancy Hoover assumed the director’s position. Mrs. Hoover, like both directors before her, had taught in the program since its beginning. By 2008, the program expanded to offer a 3-year pathway that would enable sophomores to join the engineering program. That same year, applications for the four-year program swelled to over 175 and the freshmen class expanded to include approximately 75 entering freshmen. The first graduating class of the Pre-Engineering Center graduated from college, many with engineering and science related degrees. In July of 2012, Mr. Bob Benway joined the Academy as director and has brought a great deal of experience and excitement for engineering with him.

In August 2018, Dr. Nancy Hoover returned to Bird as the Academy Coordinator.  Despite the pandemic and all of the challenges that came with it, Dr. Hoover’s expertise allowed for a smooth transition to the Engineering program’s new permanent leader, Mrs. Kathryn (Katy) Clarke, in the summer of 2021.  

Mrs. Clarke is an L. C. Bird graduate, former Bird and Appomattox Regional Governor’s School Chemistry teacher and provides the perfect balance of positivity, organization, and accountability to our program.  As a parent and teacher, she brings a relatable approach to the position and looks forward to affording every student in our program the opportunity to grow their hunger and interest in all things Engineering.


School bus routes and stops may be viewed on the school division website by going to http://mychesterfieldschools.com/transportation/bus-routes/.

If you do not have access to the Internet, you may call the area transportation office:

  • Area 1 – Bird/Meadowbrook 804-743-3605
  • Area 2 – Midlothian/Monacan/James River 804-378-2475
  • Area 3 –Clover Hill/Manchester 804-739-6260
  • Area 4 – Matoaca/Thomas Dale 804-796-2604
  • Area 5 – Exceptional Education – 804-768-6124

For additional information about Specialty Center transportation please visit CCPS Specialty Center.

In addition to the broad spectrum of programs in each comprehensive high school, Chesterfield County Public Schools offers students the opportunity to participate in optional academic programs related to special interests.

We invite you to learn more about each of our specialty centers by viewing the video below and by visiting their websites.  You can find a link to each school’s page below.  Families can also find links for other county and regional programs below.

Specialty Centers and Locations

Clover Hill High Mathematics and Science
Cosby High Health Science
CTC @ Courthouse Career and Technical Center @ Courthouse
CTC @ Hull Career and Technical Center @ Hull
James River High Leadership and International Relations
Lloyd C. Bird High Governor’s Academy for Engineering Studies
Manchester High Mass Communications
Manchester High Spanish Immersion
Matoaca High Information Technology
Meadowbrook High Academy for Developing Entrepreneurs
International Baccalaureate Program
Midlothian High International Baccalaureate Program
Monacan High Health Professions and Therapies
Thomas Dale High Center for the Arts

Important Information and Documents

Specialty Center Documents

Specialty Center and Govenor’s Schools Acceptance Process FAQ

Guidelines for Specialty Centers

Recommendation Form

Specialty Center Coordinator Directory

Specialty Center Student Event Calendar

Specialty Center Event Calendar – Insert

Specialty Center Application Requirements

Specialty Center Application Example

Other Options for secondary students


CodeRVA Regional High School

Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies

Appomattox Regional Governor’s School for the Arts and Technology