Columbia Elementary Students receive real life learning experience

JOPLIN, Mo.–The site of the future Dover Elementary School got a visit on Friday from some soon-to-be students.

“I’m really excited because of all summer and all year. We’ve been like working on it and I’m really excited to go to the new school,” said Amelia Arens, a fourth-grader at Columbia Elementary. 

Construction for the site started early last year, and currently, they’re working on the precast for the gym and cafeteria. 

“We’re actually working on interior metal studs as well as overhead rough-in with mechanical electrical plumbing. so we’ve already started that process. the second-floor slab has already been poured, so we’re moving forward with the schedule,” said Aaron Hight, Senior Project Manager for the new building.

Fourth graders at Columbia Elementary have been learning how cranes work to create buildings, how much panels weigh, all with the hopes that they’ll learn more in the field of STEM.

“Because they get to actually touch it and do it and actually work on it, rather than just reading from a book like, hey, hey like if we actually get to touch it and move it around and actually work with the robotic crane, I think that will make it remember that a lot better,” said Chee Harris, Fourth-grade teacher at Columbia Elementary. 

So on Friday, the fourth graders got to see how buildings, like their future school, are built, with some help from Crossland Construction and Pitsco Education.

“We get the opportunity to bring them on site, let them see construction in kind of a real-world situation, and let them be part of the construction of the building that they’re going to be in by the end of the year,” said Danny Langer, Division Manager for Crossland’s construction management division. 

With students getting the opportunity to see this first-hand, he hopes it could even spark an interest in construction.

Students also had the chance to practice what they learned on a smaller scale.

“So they’ll use their own concrete panel and then we have a robotic crane that they’re about to put together and then the kids get to actually like, use it and move it and put into the panel,” Harris said.

Not only did students get a lesson in stem and construction, but they also got to see how it applies to the real world as well. 

Construction of the school is slated to be done by Christmas of this year.