Twelve student teams from the United States and Canada have won the 2010 AEM Construction Challenge presented by Volvo Construction Equipment during the Global Finals competition of Destination ImagiNation. The competition took place May 26 to 29 at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
This year’s AEM Construction Challenge asked each student team to build a device that effectively delivered construction materials over a barrier to targets they were unable to see, which required innovation, mathematics, and engineering and design skills.
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) initiated the AEM Construction Challenge in 2007 as a response to the severe shortage of qualified workers to meet future construction needs. As a sign of its success, Volvo Construction Equipment signed on as the presenting sponsor of the competition.
“It takes time to build an understanding with young people so they can see how our industry creates a quality of life and makes us globally competitive,” said Al Cervero, senior vice president at AEM. “It takes a constant communication to ’move the needle’ and the Construction Challenge is one big important way to accomplish that goal. We congratulate each team that participated in 2010 and we look forward to seeing them in 2011 in Las Vegas at the ConExpo-Con/AGG exposition, where the entire construction industry will have a chance to meet this new generation.”
The AEM Construction Challenge offers a chance for students, teachers, parents and community leaders to learn more about the construction industry and the need for skilled employees to deal with infrastructure problems that include crumbling bridges, overcrowded roadways, and aging water and wastewater systems. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that employment in the construction industry is projected to increase by 1.3 million jobs by 2018.
Göran Lindgren, president of Volvo Construction Equipment North America, explained that Volvo is committed to helping tomorrow’s workers develop the right skills now.
“The prosperity of our industry very much depends on the availability of a qualified workforce. We at Volvo are committed to supporting efforts that develop the workforce of tomorrow. We look forward to working with AEM on promoting the value of construction and the construction industry in communities across North America,” Lindgren said.
The AEM Construction Challenge blends the creative problem-solving methodology of Destination ImagiNation with subject matter from AEM to create a program that engages youth in a fun learning experience and exposes them to new careers in the construction industry. After the first year, nearly 70 percent of AEM Construction Challenge participants said they are now considering a career in construction.
The finals of the 2011 AEM Construction Challenge presented by Volvo Construction Equipment will return to where it began: the ConExpo-Con/AGG exhibition in Las Vegas in March 2011. This international gathering place for the construction industry showcases the latest equipment, products, services and technologies and is one of the largest trade shows in North America of any industry. AEM is show producer and a show owner.
2010 AEM Construction Challenge Results
1st Place Teams
Elementary — Sheboygan Christian School in Sheboygan, Wis.
Middle — Bedford MADI in Bedford, Mass.
Secondary — Tahoma Learning Community in Renton, Wash.
University — Ravenna Public Schools in Ravenna, Mich.
2nd Place Teams
Elementary — White Bluffs Elementary in Richland, Wash.
Middle — Blessed Sacrament Catholic School in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
Secondary — Londonderry School District in Londonderry, N.H.
University — Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y.
3rd Place Teams
Elementary — Plano iSD in Plano, Texas
Middle — Blair Community Schools-OMS in Blair, Neb.
Secondary — Wylie ISD in Abilene, Texas
University — St. Michaels College University in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada