A team of Perry, Okla., high school students has been selected a regional winner in the Construction Equipment Challenge competition sponsored by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, an international trade association representing companies that manufacture equipment, products and provide services used worldwide in the construction, agricultural, mining, forestry and utility fields.
The Charles Machine Works, manufacturer of Ditch Witch equipment and AEM member, sponsors the seven-member team from Perry High School, which was one of more than 150 teams participating in regional competitions held in five states on Jan. 12, and is the only team from Oklahoma entered in the event. The team will travel to Las Vegas to participate in the finals March 10-14, held in conjunction with the 2008 ConExpo-Con/Agg show.
”The kids were excited to come away from the Texas regional rally qualifying for the nationals, and now we're focusing on preparations for final competition,” said Jeff Zagar, Perry High School technology education teacher and team manager. Team members are Daniel Cross, Trevor Kukuk, Dakota Johnson, Kelsey Cave, Cassandra Bratcher, Amy Bieberdorf and Evan Williams.
The competition consists of three segments: A dialogue component that includes research-based presentations and debates about industry infrastructure issues and how they affect quality of life; The Road Warrior segment challenges each team to use a “box” of parts and pieces to explore infrastructure issues, and suggest and implement a solution with team-created ideas for equipment; and the Product Development segment, which focuses on research, design and development, and on marketing communications methods to promote industry products and services.
The Construction Challenge final competition will be held over three days with award ceremonies held on the fourth day. In addition, team members will have the opportunity to tour the show and meet with exhibitors.
According to AEM senior vice president Al Cervero, the construction industry will create more than 1 million new jobs by 2012, and the Construction Challenge was developed as an effective way to share that information and to educate the public about the growing demand for skilled workers.
”We were looking for a new way to reach young people, parents, teachers and counselors with the variety of career opportunities the construction industry has to offer,” said Al Cervero, AEM senior vice president.
To develop and implement the Construction Challenge, AEM partnered with ImagiNation Inc., a community-based organization that has developed programs that build participants’ creativity, problem solving and teamwork skills.
Based in Perry, Okla., The Charles Machine Works is a leading manufacturer of underground utility construction equipment. The Ditch Witch product line includes trenchers, horizontal directional drilling systems, vibratory plows, vacuum excavators, compact skid-steer loaders, electrical utility locators and related products.
For more information on these events visit www.constructionchallenge.org.