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Middle school students learn about construction trades

Campers at the Construct My Future camp held at OSU-OKC got hands-on experience with a variety of skills.

About 70 middle school students from around the metro got hands-on experience in a variety of construction and related skill trades as part of the Construct My Future summer camp hosted at the Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City campus last week.

“The camp helps students visualize a future in a variety of fields,” said Terry Clinefelter, OSU-OKC Department Head of Construction Technologies.

“It introduces career pathways to kids while they are still making up their minds,” Clinefelter said. “All of these are high-paying, high-demand careers that they have access to through the camp.”

OG&E and OEC were on hand at the camp to help students understand what goes into the work of electricians and high-voltage linemen.

Teams at Al Slattery Masonry and Dolese worked with campers laying block and brick and what is involved in the masonry trade as campers put together their own brickwork.

Heavy equipment provided by United Rentals allowed campers to explore boom lifts, compactors, and excavation equipment and gain a basic understanding of the repair trades needed in all industries to maintain and repair their equipment. 

“Dozens of companies volunteer to be part of Construct My Future, because it’s important to develop the next generation of trade and industry workers,” said Dr. Evan Burkala, Division Head of STEM for OSU-OKC.

“If the students don’t have a family member involved in these fields, they often don’t know that this is available to them,” Burkala said.

Led by the dynamic Will Blake from Vesta Foundation Solutions and President of Construct My Future Inc., students learned over the course of the camp about: 

Plumbing, Electrical, Carpentry, HVAC, Concrete/Masonry, Welding, Flooring, Painting, Pipefitting, Heavy Equipment, Surveying, and High Voltage Power and do so by working with industry professionals, skilled tradesmen and women, higher education faculty, and Oklahoma Career Tech teachers. 

In addition to participating in hands-on events throughout the week at OSU-OKC, campers also got to walk active construction sites with JeDunn, Ideal Homes, and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. These site visits allowed campers to see these trades in action.

A recap video was assembled highlighting the students’ efforts. For more information about the camp, visit