Fourteen high school students participating in a summer construction trades course spent a week building a playhouse/fort for preschoolers earlier this month.
Matt Ruhland, who taught the class for Minot Public Schools, said the 14 students learned valuable skills, including planning, designing, collaborating and working on different parts of a project that will eventually need to be combined. fit together to form a harmonious whole.
The playhouse/fort will be donated to the Early Childhood Learning Lab program being built at the Minot Area Workforce Academy next to the new high school.
All the sophomores through seniors told him on the first day of class that they were interested in working in the building trades as adults.
“There is a huge shortage in the trades at the moment”, said Ruhland, because many people want to become engineers.
But Ruhland said the building and construction trades are well-paying, stable jobs supported by unions and are good careers for students interested in the field.
About half of the students had taken other courses in the building trades during the school year, while others were novices.
Working on the playhouse design was good practice for jobs they might encounter in the real world, as a client will often say they want a particular type of project like a new deck and the workers will have to come up with a design that works, says Ruhland.
During the week-long class, Ruhland said the students also had the chance to interact with entrepreneurs in areas they hadn’t had the chance to work on with the maisonette.
The class was funded by a grant from the ND CTE summer camp, said Pam Stroklund, director of vocational and technical education at Minot Public Schools.