April 02, 2015 10:00AM
Hear students and faculty talk about the educational value of the annual Construction Expo.
With just over a month left in his high school career, Wade Lawson is getting excited about becoming a student at Pittsburg State.
“It’s very exciting to think about coming to Pitt and being a student here,” said Lawson, a senior at Har-Ber High School in Springdale, Ark. “
That excitement escalated on April 1, when Lawson and other Har-Ber students attended the annual School of Construction Expo at the Kansas Technology Center. The annual event gives students the chance to observe and interact with professional heavy equipment and network with construction industry professionals.
“This is an awesome event, and it makes me even more excited to be on campus in the fall,” Lawson said.
Approximately $5 million worth of professional equipment and products were on display at the Expo, and the Pitt State students had the chance to be at the controls of the equipment, which included everything from loaders and graters to excavators and concrete pump trucks.
“To have the chance to get at the controls of this equipment is awesome,” said senior Alberto Soto. “It’s a great educational experience and something we probably wouldn’t have a chance to do at another school.”
Assistant Professor Seth O’Brien said the event is a great networking tool for the students.
“Along with the hands-on experience with the equipment, the Expo also gives the students the chance to meet and network with many industry professionals,” he said. “These are all things you’re not going to get from a book. You need to get out there, run the equipment, meet the professionals and put yourself in a position to get that job after you graduate.”
O’Brien said more than 20 companies were represented at the Expo.
“We’re fortunate to have great partners in industry, and they like to come to this event because we have impressive students who would make great employees for them,” he said. “It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”
Senior Samantha Kinkelaar said she’s appreciates Pittsburg State offering these opportunity for the students.
“It’s so important to have these experiences and make these connections,” she said. “We’re very lucky to be at a university that understand that and that puts us in a great position to succeed.”