Bridges and walls: Construction Trades classes engineer early-semester projects

Yonas Kahase, Staff Writer

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The Construction Trades classes at Greeley West High School are an opportunity for students to get their hands dirty working with various materials to create a project.  So far this year, Mr. Jordan Karlberg is happy with what his students have accomplished.

Karlberg’s Construction Trades 1 class has been working on building and engineering a spaghetti bridge.  The catch is that the bridge is 24 inches long and must hold five pounds of weight to be successful.  Also, students are not allowed to use glue.  No freshman has eclipsed last year’s best bridge yet.  Karlberg said the record was 27 pounds last year.

Karlberg’s other classes – composed of upperclassmen (Construction Trades 2 and 3) are working on a more advanced project.  These groups are building mock wall to practice all of the standards of the construction industry.

These walls will come equipped with electrical wiring, plumbing, siding and drywall to give students practice in framing a building.  “Construction Trades 2 kids build basic stuff – single light switches and outlets,” Karlberg said.  “Whereas Construction Trades 3 does technical wiring and plumbing.  Also, instead of dry walling it, they will tile it.”

Construction Trades 2 and 3 students are also enrolled for credit at AimsCommunity College.  The class is the same material that a student at Aims takes in the Construction Management Program there.  As a result, the wall project is on-going throughout the year.  Students will earn up to three credits if they meet the requirements of the program.

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