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Kids Explore Transportation Construction Industry at Summer Camps
By Laura Brightbill
CAMP VOLUNTEERS (Members of ASHE-Harrisburg Section):

Rebecca Burns, P.E.
PENNDOT

Brian Fraley
APC

Ron Geist
APC

Crystalann Harbold, EIT
Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson

Steve Karl, P.E.
Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson

Terry Linsey, PLS
Buchart-Horn

Brehan McBride
Gannett-Fleming

Erin O’Brien, EIT
Greenhorne & O’Mara

William Pickering, P.E.
So-Deep, Inc.

Nicholas Siegl, P.E.
Gannett-Fleming

Non-ASHE Member Volunteers

Laura Brightbill
APC

William Kerney
PENNDOT

Donald Cox
PENNDOT

Steve Davidheiser
PENNDOT

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED:
The Build Up! and On Site! kits can both be purchased for individual use, or can be sponsored by a company for a specific classroom, such as APC-sponsored kits for the summer camps. If you are interested in purchasing or sponsoring a kit, you may call the APC office at (717) 238-2513, or go to www.agc.org and click on Education and Training – Construction Futures.

It is no secret that a problem was identified not so long ago in the transportation highway and bridge construction industry: there is suffering from a shortage of qualified workers. Two major contributors include an aging workforce, and very little education offered to young students to foster their excitement for careers in related to the construction . The Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC) responded by creating a workforce development initiative to cultivate interest in the transportation construction industry within third to sixth grade children in the Harrisburg area , Pa. , area . field. Therefore, APC took upon itself a workforce development initiative, in order to cultivate an enthusiasm within local elementary and middle school age children for the highway and bridge construction industry, and all that it involves. To achieve the goals of the initiative, APC partnered with the Harrisburg Chapter of the American Society of Highway Engineers (ASHE) in an effort to recruit members to become involved in a series of math and science camps to achieve the goals of the initiative. for third through eighth graders.


Volunteers Brian Fraley (standing) of APC and Donald Cox of PENNDOT responding to questions about the various machines used in construction.

The youth programs, held throughout over the month of July at both Camp Schikellimy in Upper Dauphin County, and the William Penn Campus in Harrisburg, were organized by APC and the Camp Curtain YMCA . along with APC. The children's camps included a wide variety of math and science projects relating to the fields of highway, bridge , and building design and construction. Seven Volunteering for these camps were seven APC/ASHE members from Harrisburg area engineering firms , who teamed up with four volunteers from PENNDOT and three volunteers from APC's staff to serve as camp instructors . home office.


mpers proudly show off the hats they won for correctly answering questions about bridges.

Thanks to a generous grant by the APC Educational Trust Fund (ETF) Trustees, funds earmarked for promoting careers in transportation construction were used to purchase the curriculum programs used at the camps. The instructional programs, entitled Build-Up! and On Site! , were developed by the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America in partnership with Scholastic Publishers. The programs are in the form of large plastic toolboxes tool kits , and include a wide assortment of valuable hands-on math - and science - related lessons. The kits are unique, as they provide the students with the proper materials to complete the lessons hands-on. Several activities included in the kits are the construction of popsicle stick bridges to teach the strength of varying geometric shapes ; , the mixing of concrete to show the use of chemistry in highway construction ; and , as well as a lesson that employs an instructional video, a book, and a crossword puzzle to explain explaining the multitude of careers available in the transportation highway and bridge design and construction industry. fields, using an instructional video, a book, and a crossword puzzle. Volunteer Crystalann Harbold of Johnson, Mirmiran & Thom p son noted, Through our mini-discussions, activities and the bridge video , we opened their ( [ students ) ] eyes to all the possibilities available in the construction industry. 


Volunteer Terry Linsey of Gannett-Fleming offers his assistance to future engineers at Camp Schikellimy with an end-of-the-week quiz about what they learned.

The first week of camp commenced in both Harrisburg and Upper Dauphin on July 7, 2003 , th and lasted for was held the subsequent four weeks. Camp Schikellimy was a residence camp, accommodating nearly 90 children over the three weeks that the math and science sessions were held . there . The Harrisburg camps at William Penn were also well attended with about 70 children participating in the camps over the four-week period.

All told In total , the volunteers, along with APC and the YMCA, were able to enlighten 160 children about the worlds of transportation construction and civil engineering. When asked why he volunteered, Gannett-Fleming's Nicholas Siegl responded, I volunteered because I get a lot of satisfaction out of my job designing highways and bridges, and believe most kids in Harrisburg would also get pretty excited about this type of work if someone would take the time to tell them what  it's its all about and where the opportunities are. He and his counterparts who volunteered their time played a part in triggering securing the beginning of a very bright future for the transportation highway and bridge construction industry.

 


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