Fourteen student teams from the United States and Canada have won the 2011 edition of the annual AEM Construction Challenge presented by Volvo Construction Equipment. The annual challenge is held at the Global Finals of Destination ImagiNation (DI). The 2011 event took place May 25 to 28 at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
AEM along with DI developed the Construction Challenge to engage students through a hands-on, educational experience that introduces them to construction careers such as engineers, equipment technicians and manufacturing professionals. In addition to the annual challenge, AEM also conducts a challenge program at the triennial ConExpo-Con/AGG and IFPE international trade exhibitions.
This year’s AEM Construction Challenge at DI Global Finals in Knoxville was titled “Unidentified Moving Object” and teams had to design and build equipment that moved various materials to and from towering heights; start and end their presentations with the equipment contained in a storage box; create and present a sales promotion highlighting features of the equipment — and complete all of these tasks with no AC electrical power.
“What an amazing experience; it was like a call went out for hard-working, innovative problem-solvers who could work well together and then they made an 8,000-person all-star team. We’re very proud to be a part of this; it was a glimpse of what the future of our industry can be and what we hope it will be,” said Paul Parker, senior marketing specialist with Volvo Construction Equipment.
AEM initiated the Construction Challenge program to offer an opportunity for students, teachers, parents and community leaders to learn more about rewarding industry career paths and the important role of construction equipment in creating and maintaining the high quality of life enjoyed in North America and Europe as well as by increasing numbers in the developing world.
“Through the AEM Construction Challenge, students can experience jobs that are in high-demand like repair technician, equipment operator and design engineers. Their interest is piqued when they see how modern the technology is. And, after they understand that these careers improve our quality of life and pay well, they get passionate about working in the industry, and that’s how we know that we’ve made an impact,” said Al Cervero, AEM senior vice president.
First Place Teams
• Elementary Level — (tie) Kimberly Elementary School in Redlands, Calif. and Cypress-Fairbanks ISD in Houston, Texas
• Middle Level — Orono Middle School in Orono, Maine
• Secondary Level — (tie) Lanesville High School in Lanesville, Ind. and Cherry Creek School District in Aurora, Colo.
• University Level - University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Second Place Teams
• Elementary Level — Hamilton Southeastern School District in Fishers, Ind.
• Middle Level — Deerfield Public Schools in Deerfield, Ind.
• Secondary Level — Academy of Science and Technology in Conroe, Texas
• University Level — James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.
Third Place Teams
• Elementary Level — (tie)Woodland Elementary School in Eagan, Minn. and Delano Elementary School in Delano, Minn.
• Middle Level — Carmichael Middle School in Richland, Wash.
• Secondary Level — St Michael’s College School in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
For more information, visit www.aem.org/Foundation/ConstructionChallenge/.