TOWNSEND — Broadwater High teaches a construction course with hands-on experience by involving students in real life projects.
Andrew Hopper and his coworkers are high school students at Broadwater High. They are on a job site, measuring and cutting boards to build a backyard garage, giving Hopper hands-on experience.
"It gives us an introduction into citing, the actual building, concrete work, really anything you do on a job site in the real world," says Hopper, a junior at Broadwater High.
The job site isn’t a one-day event for these students. They are part of a construction technology class at Broadwater High that spends the entire school year building a project from start to finish. Mr. Clint Watson is the teacher of the class. He’s constructed over 20 projects with students ranging from garages to stairways at local buildings, teaching them the trades skills in an unexpected setting, according to the students.
“When I found out we were doing everything from the foundation in the concrete work to pouring the concrete walls and doing everything, it's kind of a shock, a little surprising but it's a good experience," says Chase Masolo, a senior.
Many of these students say this is a good experience, but more importantly, many of them say Mr. Watson’s class inspires them to look at this as a career.
“I find this is kind of how I want one of my career choices could possibly be,” says Tyler Masolo, a junior student. “I've learned so much and I love doing this type of stuff so it could definitely be a career for me."
The Montana Chamber of Commerce released a report from 2020 detailing that out of nearly 1000 respondents, 36% of construction, engineering, and more businesses had to turn down growth opportunities due to a lack of skilled workers.
Each of these students are required to take a previous class and at least be in their junior year at Broadwater High School before joining the construction technology course.