Students had the opportunity to learn about construction career opportunities in an engaging, hands-on environment. From architecture to bricklaying and robotics to roofing, students were exposed to trades and potential careers that many had not considered or even ever heard of.
Held in the Kansas City Convention Center, the iBuild Showcase is an annual exposition which brings students together for an opportunity to actively connect with industry professionals. Students learn how they might choose their fields of endeavor. This program demonstrates the wide array of careers that are available in the construction industry including skilled craftsmanship, architecture, engineering, computer aided design, marketing, accounting, and construction management.
“The students had so many opportunities for hands-on learning,” said Counselor Amelia Cramer, who chaperoned the trip. Students had the opportunity to lay bricks and mortar, tape and mud drywall, and ascend in a scissor lift. In addition, virtual reality headsets were used to simulate crane operation. At each of the 37 presenter booths, there was an activity to engage the minds and bodies of students. Students particularly liked a team-building exercise which challenged them to build the tallest tower with balloons. After completion, material use was discussed to help students better understand cost-benefit analysis.
Bishop Ward partners DST Systems and Mark One Electric were among the presenters. In addition to educational presentations, many presenters shared opportunities available for apprenticeships and internships. Several college programs, including the University of Central Missouri and Pittsburg State University, were represented as well.
“Should we do this again next year?” Cramer asked the attending students. “Absolutely,” they replied.