Community Partners Help with Construction Unit

Community Partners Help with Construction Unit at Lakota Wonder Labs
Posted on 12/19/2019
This is the image for the news article titled Community Partners Help with Construction Unit at Lakota Wonder Labs

students working with construction boardsAs one Butler Tech high school student looked around Creekside Early Childhood’s Wonder Lab, he kept saying, “I wish I had this when I was in first grade.”

Elementary Wonder Labs are filled with equipment to help Lakota’s youngest learners explore and create using concepts that apply to engineering, science and technology.

Lakota’s Wonder Labs now have a new tool, thanks to that Butler Tech student and his classmates.

At this time every year, Lauren Seal and her fellow Wonder Lab teachers embark on a construction unit with their students. They focus on the question, “How do things work?”, exploring the world of construction and specifically how tools work. As the kids learn how to use different types of tools, they also use those tools to take old objects apart to see how they were built and how they function.

“Last year the Wonder Lab teachers made boards for the kids to practice with some of the tools, but they weren’t very sturdy and barely survived the unit,” said Seal. “So this year I reached out to Katie Bauer [Lakota’s Strategic Partnerships Coordinator] to see if she could connect us with someone who could help.”

And that’s when the magic began.

Craig Lauman from Messer Construction came out to Creekside to talk about the boards and how to make them better; he had some great ideas and Messer Construction even offered to pay for all of the materials. He then approached Butler Tech to see if students there could build the boards, and Construction Technologies teacher Clem Skinner and his students took on the project. 

They brought the completed construction boards to Creekside this week. Skinner and his students even brought a huge table saw, power drill and the other tools that they used to build the boards.

Several of the Butler Tech students are Lakota students, and even started their educational journey right there at Creekside. “It was fun working on the project because I got to help out other people,” said Aniya, a Lakota West senior who plans to go to college for architecture and finish her last two years of construction.

After showing the first-graders how the construction boards were made, the Butler Tech students worked one-on-one with the younger students on how to use tools like wrenches and screwdrivers.  The first-graders really enjoyed donning their goggles and learning about construction.

“It was a great experience,” said Seal. “The students were really engaged today, and it looks like the boards will definitely last longer than the ones we made ourselves last year!”

After working on the construction boards with the Creekside students, Butler Tech noted a few improvements to make the boards even better. So they took them back to the shop, and returned them to Seal so that she could distribute them to all of Lakota’s Wonder Lab teachers.