Students from several of Detroit’s Middle and High Schools were given an opportunity to attend the Construction Science Expo along with students, faculty and staff from the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering (CAE) and Lawrence Technological University (LTU). The Middle and High School students were required to commit to a drug-free pledge. Those who made that pledge were brought to the Expo to interact and explore many career possibilities within the construction industry.
Hundreds of students attended the event, held at the Durfee Innovation Center in Detroit, participating in hands-on construction and engineering practices. The topic of “Construction Safety” was addressed by LTU Professor Dr. Ahmed Al-Bayati, PhD, PE and Founding Director of the LTU Construction Safety Research Center. Students were able to put on a virtual reality headset and explore the world of construction safety. The virtual reality program offered students a variety of different perspectives to explore and participate in, such as climbing on a roof and being fully compliant as directed by OSHA. Students were also asked multiple choice safety questions during the virtual reality experience that would reward them with correct responses.
LTU CAE Project Engineer/Lab Coordinator Roger Harrison brought several items from the water resources laboratory, such as sediment flume, permeable pavers, a green roof cross section, and environmental water quality poster boards. Students learned how to set a foundation within flowing water and how to pour concrete into a riverbed.
“It’s always such a worthwhile investment letting our young students know that the world needs engineers,” Harrison said.
“I was once a young man growing up in Detroit, and if not for caring individuals that reached out to me to let me know that I am needed in the future, I would not be where I am today. It is truly an honor to pay it forward to the next generation.”