On Saturday, Jan. 24, several UALR students hammered and sawed on a playhouse at the Museum of Discovery, providing a glimpse into the world of construction.
The five-week project, called “Build It Lab,” is intended to offer young visitors an interactive view into the many phases of construction, ranging from framing to plumbing to wiring to painting.
The Museum of Discovery, in partnership with UALR, Home Depot and AGC Arkansas, the state’s largest association of commercial contractors, is offering “Build It Lab” each Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Jan. 24 through Feb. 21.
Students from UALR’s Construction Management program will use the playhouse to focus on a different construction phase each week. Saturday’s focus was on framing the playhouse.
The students will complete exterior finishes, wiring and roofing, interior finishes, and painting the playhouse during subsequent Saturday sessions over the next four weeks, earning service-learning credit during the process.
UALR faculty member John-Mark Squires serves as project manager of the students, which includes Jesse Benton, Isaac Branstetter, Nicholas Butterfield, Stephen Kassa, Jimmy Palmer, Orin Spikes, Gabriel Trenchard, Corinna Gil, and Farrell Mcgraw.
Once the house is complete, the Museum of Discovery will donate the building to a school playground.
“The mission of the Museum of Discovery is to ignite a passion for science, technology and math in a dynamic, interactive environment,” said Kelley Bass, museum CEO.
“Build It Lab is going to give our visitors the chance to do just that as they engage in hands-on construction activities, while also observing UALR students building the playhouse that later will be awarded to an Arkansas school.”
Richard Hedgecock of AGC Arkansas said that as workforce development continues to be on the minds of many Arkansans, the AGC is “proud to partner with these great community leaders to open the eyes of young people, and their parents about the possibilities offered to them through construction careers.”
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