High schoolers explore construction management

MARQUETTE — High school students from schools across Marquette County got a chance Tuesday to take a peek at the life of a Construction Management student at Northern Michigan University.

As part of a collaboration between the Marquette Alger College Access Network and NMU’s Jacobetti Complex, seven students ranging from freshmen to seniors rolled up their sleeves and dove into a hands-on project that showed them more about the field.

“In five hours’ time, we are able to do some estimating – material estimating – some planning by deciding how are we going to go about building the project step by step, and then finally ending up down here in the woodshop constructing the actual project,” said Assistant Professor of Construction Management Heidi Blanck.

One of the goals of the collaboration, funded by the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, is to allow teens to explore potential careers and related educational opportunities. Additionally, by involving University students in the planning and execution of Tuesday’s class, Blanck hopes to give youth a better look at what college is like.

“Throughout the day, I’ve invited students in to come and talk to the high school students, let them know what college life is like from their perspective, understand maybe what it’s like to live in the dorms, the kind of friendships that are developed, the types of things they’ll do in classes that comes from a closer peer relationship than just me as an instructor,” Blanck added.

This is the second year that the Jacobetti Complex has hosted this hands-on workshop. HVAC, Welding, and Auto Tech workshops will be held on Friday, with an exploration into the culinary arts scheduled for next week.