Bush Construction Makes Students Master Builders for a Day

Bush Construction and Master Builders of Iowa (MBI) are investing in the future of the construction industry one student at a time.

Last month, eight junior high and high school students, who are part of the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program, visited Bush Construction to learn about the lifecycle of a construction project, from design to construction, utilizing virtual reality tools.

Amy Simler, Administrative Services Manager; Michael Johnson, Virtual Design and Construction Manager; Jerod Engler, Vice President of Construction and Ryan Welborn, Project Manager; all from Bush Construction walked the students through every phase of the project.

“We led them through the process of being an owner, an architect, and a contractor on a project to show them how  a project team has to work together,” Simler explained.

“We wanted to give the students a real glimpse into project management,” Johnson said. “We built a curriculum that used Legos, virtual reality, and fake money to move through the entire plan.”

Simler and Johnson explained what elements are important during the design phase and the construction phase.

“We scheduled delays, made subcontractors not show up for work, and talked about how much money this would cost them,” Johnson said. “At the end of the day, they built their structure out of Legos, we put it in virtual reality, and they got to walk through their space at full scale. It was a blast.”

This is the second year Bush Construction has partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters to implement construction education into the program.

“We are members of MBI, an association that provides various resources to construction contractors across the state,” Simler said. “MBI works to help generate interest in the labor force and construction industry. We joined them in drawing awareness to the construction industry as a career choice last October during the first Construction Week.”

Governor Branstad recently declared the first week of October as Construction Week in Iowa which will be celebrated on October 2-6, 2017.

“Our Big Brothers Big Sisters program last month was the perfect model for how we’re planning to grow the program,” Simler said.

Bush Construction will continue a year of innovation by bringing the virtual reality and project management education to students in the Quad Cities.

To learn more about Bush Construction’s Community Involvement, check out our website!