Creative thinking and teamwork are what have earned students from across the U.S. and Canada the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas and compete in the national finals of the AEM Construction Challenge presented by Volvo Construction Equipment taking place March 21-25 at the international ConExpo-Con/Agg construction industries trade show.
Regional rallies across the U.S. and Canada gave students the chance to demonstrate their creative abilities and imagination as they vied to secure a spot to the national competition by building structures that related to transportation and water infrastructure.
“We saw amazing creativity and problem-solving skills from student teams at each of the rallies,” Paul Parker, Volvo senior marketing and program specialist, said in a press statement. “We look forward to bringing this next generation into the construction field to help meet infrastructure needs in North America and to solve problems we may not even be considering today.”
At the national championships, the top 24 teams that advanced from the regional rallies will compete for scholarships and other prizes and have the opportunity to meet and learn from leaders in the construction industry.
Eight of the nine regional rallies were held on Jan. 15 in Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Enid, Okla., Milwaukee, Richmond, Seattle and Toronto. The Atlanta rally will be held on Jan. 22.
The top teams that are advancing from the Jan. 15 rallies are as follows:
Dallas Regional Rally, Sponsored by ROMCO Equipment Company and Volvo Construction Equipment & Services (VCES) both Volvo CE dealerships
- Pearce High School and Richardson High School, Dallas, TX- first place
- Creekview Turner High School and Newman Smith High School, Carrollton, TX- second place
- Cuero High School, Cuero, TX- third place
Enid Regional Rally, Sponsored by G.W. Van Keppel Company, a Volvo CE dealership
- Harding Charter Preparatory School, Oklahoma City, OK- first place
- Lawrence High School, Lawrence, KS- second place
Milwaukee Regional Rally, Sponsored by Aring Equipment Company and Volvo Construction Equipment & Services (VCES) both Volvo CE dealerships
- Chippewa Falls Senior High School, Chippewa Falls, WI- first place
- Lomira High School, Lomira, WI- second place
Toronto Regional Rally, Sponsored by Strongco Equipment, a Volvo CE dealership
- Holy Trinity Catholic High School Simcoe, ON-tied for first place
- Alexander MacKenzie High School, Richmond Hill, ON-tied for first place
- St. Patrick Catholic High School, Toronto, ON- second place
Chicago Regional Rally, Sponsored by Caterpillar Inc.
- Bartlett High School, Bartlett, IL- second place
- Highland Park High School, Highland Park, IL- second place
- Highland Park High School, Highland Park, IL- third place
- Bartlett High School, Bartlett, IL- fourth place
Cincinnati Regional Rally, Sponsored by Caterpillar Inc.
- Franklin County Career Technology Center, Frankfort, KY- first place
- Miami Valley Career Technology Center, Clayton, OH- second place
- William Henry Harrison High School, Harrison, OH- third place
Seattle Regional Rally, Sponsored by Caterpillar Inc.
- Construction Careers Academy, Meridian High School, Bellingham, WA- first place
- Lakewood High School, Marysville, WA- tied for second place
- Dana Hills High School, Dana Point, CA- tied for second place
Richmond Regional Rally
- Maggie Walker Governor’s School, Richmond, VA- first place
- Massanutten Regional Governor’s School, Mt. Jackson, VA- second place
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) designed the Construction Challenge specifically to engage teens in an educational setting and spark interest in careers in the construction industry. The Challenge offers a chance for students, teachers, parents and community leaders to learn more about the scope and contributions of the construction industry and the need for skilled professionals to solve infrastructure problems such as crumbling bridges, overcrowded roadways and aging water and wastewater systems.
The Construction Challenge presented by Volvo Construction Equipment is a joint effort by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and Destination ImagiNation (DI). Since its inception, the AEM Construction Challenge has directly engaged more than 10,000 middle and high school students across North America, and the program and its messages have made an impression on more than 18 million students globally. Nearly 70 percent of Challenge participants said they are now considering a construction career. AEM’s support for the construction equipment industry is also demonstrated in the association’s “I Make America” campaign that highlights the importance of infrastructure investment for the country’s long-term prosperity.