Ball State University construction management major Austin Fest of Newburgh is educating children who could be his future employees.
Mentored by Jennifer Warrner, assistant lecturer of construction management, Fest and his classmates involved in the Let's Build immersive learning course at Ball State this Spring semester spent time each week introducing kindergartners to the construction industry at Longfellow Elementary School in Muncie.
"Each day we were there, the kindergartners would have a project to work on, and we'd guide them through it," said Fest, who just completed his sophomore year.
"Since we were all assigned to one student in the class, we were able to really connect and build unique relationships with the possible future of construction management."
From basic principles of construction to future career options in the field, the team of students brought a new concept from the construction industry into the classroom through an interactive project each week. The Ball State students and kindergartners worked on the week's projects, which can range from constructing a toolbox to even stretching student's creativity with just a few supplies.
With a dwindling number of people working in the trades, Let's Build serves as an opportunity for construction management majors like Fest to expose youth to such an important industry and interact with the community in a unique way.
"Ball State has allowed me to do things that I would not have the opportunity to do elsewhere, and this class is a great example of that," Fest said. "The construction management program is great and full of many opportunities."