CRESTVIEW — Learning construction and engineering skills at an early age gives students an advantage, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University associate campus instructor Ashley McCallum says.
So Shoal River Middle School's construction and engineering classes will have an edge on others after 28 students earned an overall first place in an Industry, Design, Engineering and Students competition April 5 at Calvary Christian Academy in Fort Walton Beach.
Seven other schools participated in the countywide competition, which Shoal River has won for six consecutive years, said Dale Chavers, the school's CHOICE ─ Community High Okaloosa Institutes Career Education ─construction and technology instructor.
Students built small wooden bridges, rubber band-powered planes and mouse trap-powered racers to score the most points.
And learn new lessons.
"It's more than just building; it also helps with you math skills, Ashlyn Day, 13, said. Students in the Industry Design Competition used measurements and math skills to create blueprints.
Success now can help with future careers, according to Embry-Riddle, an event sponsor.
"There are going to be high school students who decide that they want to be an aerospace engineer, but these students are already going to have that knowledge," McCallum said.