This year’s CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2008 (check out DN Contributing Editor Joe Ogando’s coverage on dozer innovations from Caterpillar and Deere) was host to the finals of the International Construction Challenge put on by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). The three challenges of the competition focused on the construction industry’s positive impact on safe roads, clean water and other quality-of-life issues.
The AEM says the challenge helps recruit construction’s future workforce to address an impending shortage of future skilled workers needed to fill over 1 million new jobs in construction by 2012. This is in line with an obvious major goal of most engineering competitions - to start cultivating young engineers. The International Construction Challenge brings together high school teams from across the United States and Canada to learn more about construction careers, infrastructure, construction equipment and how to work as part of a team.
The competition’s three challenges were Infrastructure Dialogue, where teams researched issues including drinking water systems, road and highway systems and bridges; equipment and careers, where teams developed an interactive educational tool to teach about construction careers and equipment, and Road Warrior, where teams build equipment devices and then compete to move the most gravel using the equipment. The first-place team from Perry Public Schools, Perry, OK, impressed the judges during the Road Warrior challenge. Each team member won a $2,000 scholarship and a computer.