Indian Hill construction site turns classroom for engineering students

IHHS SWENext IHMS Construction Tour

Wearing hardhats, Indian Hill High School SWENext engineering students turned the construction of the new Indian Hill Middle School (IHMS) into a learning opportunity. On Tuesday, January 10, chapter members toured the IHMS job site. Members met with Skanska Project Executive Chris Soto and THP Limited Senior Principal Brad Saalfeld to learn about structural engineering and construction careers.

“Providing our female students with real-world experiences in engineering and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers gives them a tangible outlook on what their future could look like,” said Carrie Vanden Boom, IHHS SWENext mentor. “Talking with engineering professionals is a terrific way for them to build confidence, ask questions, network, and gain perspective if they want to learn more about a specific career path. Opportunities like this can spark excitement in a student that can’t be found anywhere else.”

Students experienced firsthand the process and career skills needed to manage, design, and erect a large commercial building.

“It was awesome to learn about the pros and cons of the different materials used in buildings and why they are chosen,” said Lizzie Consolino, IHHS student and SWENext student president.

Topics discussed during the tour included the importance of soil mechanics and properties, lateral bracing for wind loads, material selections, project team collaboration, and problem-solving.

“This event helps take learning outside of the classroom, and it allows our students to make connections with professionals,” said Vanden Boom. “We appreciate these District partners in helping us to connect to learning in an authentic way.”

Photo caption: On Tuesday, January 10, Indian Hill High School SWENext engineering students visited the construction site of the new Indian Hill Middle School to learn about commercial building from industry professionals.