How old were you when you learned to hammer a nail? We don’t mean just banging away on it, but doing it properly?
At a few camps around the country, kids are learning this — and other construction skills — as young as four years old.
Here are a few of the programs across the country that are encouraging the construction professionals of tomorrow:
Construction Camp Gives Hope to Cincinnati Kids
Administered by Allied Construction Industries, Cincinnati’s Construction Camp is funded by several organizations, including the Spirit of Construction Foundation, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s Summertime Kids program, and Price Hill Will, a community development program in the neighborhoods where the kids live.
The Construction Camp program, aimed at middle schoolers, gives these kids a grounding in some of the skills that could lead them to construction careers — a possible way out of tough economic conditions for many of them.
Each year, kids in the program build a complete garden shed. Along the way, they learn how to pour concrete, frame the roof, install the electrical system, and more. An added bonus: The camp’s projects show kids that the math and science many of them dislike really do have real-world applications.
Engineering for Kids
With programs for 4-6 year olds and 7-14 year olds, Engineering for Kids caters to the youngest construction crews on our list.
The program’s main goal is to get kids interested in and excited about STEM subjects through the use of fun and educational projects. During the camps, kids build problem-solving skills, learn how things work, and start on a path that could lead them to engineering careers.
Another program aimed at younger kids — in this case, pre-K to 6th grade — ConstructionKids teaches students to use real tools on real projects. These projects can include go-carts, buildings, mazes, bridges, and even musical instruments.
With three locations in New York City, the program offers birthday party and camp experiences, along with after- and in-school programs.
These programs — and others like them across the country — help get kids interested in something other than texting and video games. They’ll learn problem-solving skills, teamwork, and hands-on construction skills that may lead them to become the next leaders in our industry.
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