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Skilled to Work: Students Build Skills Designing Playgrounds

Students build their dream playground and learn skills.

Posted: Mar 27, 2018 10:32 AM
Updated: Apr 3, 2018 12:05 PM

Employers throughout western oregon are facing a critical situation. They're losing qualified employees to retirement, and struggling to find skilled replacements.  That's why KEZI 9 News is partnering with industry leaders in the "Skilled to Work" campaign.

KEZI 9 News reporter Jessica Babb visited a classroom at Two Rivers - Dos Rios Elementary where students were learning how to make an impact through architecture.   5th grade students have been working with the architects in schools program, learning exactly what architects and engineers do.  To give them a practical application, they were tasked with designing their dream playground.

"I love doing gymnastics and it's pretty fun for me."  That's what inspired Jacqueline Bartolone to build a playground, complete with rings, bars, and a balance beam. she says she had fun on the project because it allowed her to be creative. 

But beyond that, these students were learning how they could make a difference through design. They chose the project with hopes they might be able to make some needed improvements to their school's playground.  Graduate student Mary Milford, who was teaching the kids, says some of them just wanted disabled friendly equipment and a playground that had proper drainage.   "Seeing how excited they are about the potential change in their own community doing this design that's so close to home for them, Ii think that's been the most exciting thing for me so far.  Just watching them get excited about it."

So they set out to solve the problem... each student coming up with their own solution. s  "Just using my imagination and trying to figure out ways to design it." Serenity Newett says she learned a lot through the project and says she wants to learn more about it.   "Yeah because maybe sometime when I get older, you know how engineers and stuff do it.  They kind of make the shapes and they are teaching us about triangles and stuff like that.  I'm kind of excited about that." 

Milford says this program is important because it give young students exposure to to different opportunities they could pursue.   In the studio, Jessica Babb, KEZI 9 News.

#skilledtowork

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