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        Page 4                                                                                                 Electronic Edition:

        Mounds View Students Build Solar-Powered Ice Fishing Houses Continued from Page 1
                                            calculate the cost and the return on investment   the connection between a career in construc-  students get to see how math is applied in real
                                            (ROI) for solar energy systems.     tion  and  classes  such  as  math  or  writing,”   life. That’s powerful.”
                                               In  addition,  students  participate  in   adds Mullin. “Math is used by skilled trades   The  Construction  and  Solar  Energy
                                            fieldtrips  outside  of  class.  In  the  future,  the   professionals every day on the job. Commu-  program  has  articulation  agreements  for
                                            high school would like to invite more building   nications is critical to ensuring that everyone   courses within the Solar Pathway program.
                                            trades  professionals  to  come  into  the  class-  on a project team is doing what they should be   In addition, students who would like to
                                            room and share their insights about careers in   doing at the right time. The beauty is that in   complete  an  associate  of  sciences  degree  in
                                            construction.                       the Construction and Solar Energy class, the   the Solar Power track at the college have the
                                               By  mid-January,  the  students  will  have                         opportunity to take additional college courses
                                            completed  their  solar-powered  ice-fishing                           that meet general education requirements prior
                                            house  and  will  sell  it  to  purchase  materials                    to  high  school  graduation,  including  college
                                            needed  for  program’s  next  building  project.                       courses  in  college  writing,  communications,
                                            The  ice  fishing  house  will  likely  be  sold                       physics, biology, and college algebra.
                                            through an auction.                                                        “It’s important that students not only pick
                                                                                                                   up valuable skills and earn college credit, but
                                            Building Pathways to the Future                                        that  they  recognize  construction  as  a  legiti-
                                                                                                                   mate  alternative  to  college  or  the  military,”
                                               The  Construction  and  Solar  Energy                               says Werner. “Our focus is on letting students
                                            class is one of six courses that Mounds View                           experience these types of opportunities before
                                            Public  Schools  recommends  as  part  of  its                         they graduate.”
                                            Construction  and  Solar  Energy  pathway,  a
                                            series  of  courses  to  prepare  students  for  a                         Reprinted  with  permission  from  Con-
                                            future  career  in  the  construction  industry.             
        allows students to learn and work together to   The  Construction  and  Power  pathway  is
        build  a  solar-powered  ice  fishing  house  that   one of five pathways offered by the school
        meets real-life building codes.     district  developed  to  prepare  students  for
            “Any student in grades 10 through 12 can   future  careers.  Those  pathways  include:         
        take the course and learn skills such as basic   Automotive,  Business,  Engineering  &
        plumbing, how to produce technical drawings,   Manufacturing,  Construction  and  Solar
        read building plans, build models/prototypes,   Technology, and Liberal Arts.
        and  develop  safe  working  practices,”  says   The other courses within the Construction
        Werner.  “While  at  the  same  time,  earning   and Solar Technology pathway series include:
            What evolved from a conventional wood   •  Intro to Engineering Design I and II
        construction class has turned into a partnership   •  Computer Integrated Manufacturing
        between  the  Mounds  View  School  District,   •  Digital Electronics
        the local college, the Minnesota State Energy   •  Engineering and Manufacturing I, II and   10 Top Construction Careers
        Center  of  Excellence,  the  St.  Paul  Build-  III
        ing  Trades  Council,  the  Minnesota  Trades   •  Welding
        Academy, and Construction Careers Founda-
        tion. Through this partnership, students have   Students are encouraged to take a number
        access to a mobile classroom focused on alter-  of  general  education  courses  to  complement   According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics
        native energy along with the solar lab at the   what  they’ll  be  learning  in  the  Construction
        college.                            and  Solar  Energy  pathways  program.  These   Construction Manager — Median salary: $95,260
            “The St. Paul Building Trades, Construc-  courses include:
        tion  Careers  Foundation,  and  the  Minnesota   •  ARCC Communications Studies  Plumber — Median salary: Median salary: $55,160
        Trades  Academy  have  been  instrumental  in   •  ARCC  College  Writing  or  AP  Lang/
        helping  Irondale  develop  this  class  and  cur-  Comp or CIS Comp                    Electrician — Median salary: $56,180
        riculum,” says Werner.                •  ARCC Physics
            “We’re proud to have had a hand in craft-  •  ARCC Biology                Solar Photovoltaic Installer —— Median salary: $44,890
        ing this very special program at Irondale,” says   •  ARCC College Algebra
        Don Mullin, executive secretary of the St. Paul                                           Glazier — Median salary: $44,630
        Building  and  Construction  Trades  Council.   •  Energy Concepts
        “The Mounds View school district is doing an   By  entering  into  the  Construction  and   Equipment Operator — Median salary: $48,980
        amazing job and this program is making a dif-  Solar Energy pathway, students start to under-
        ference in the lives of young people. There is   stand the importance of other subjects such as   Painter — Median salary: $40,280
        a huge appetite at high schools across our state   math  or  communications  to  a  career  in  con-
        for programming similar to what Irondale has   struction.                          Sheet Metal Worker — Median salary: $50,400
        achieved.”                              “Like every other high school in America,
            As  part  of  the  Multi-Craft  Core  Cur-  we  hear  students  lament,  “Why  am  I  study-  Structural Iron and Steelworker — Median salary: $55,040
        riculum, students learn from solar installation   ing algebra? How am I going to use it in the
        companies  that  send  representatives  to  share   real world?” says Werner. “Then they start to   Construction Worker — Median salary: $36,860
        information and insight about installing solar   get  into  our  Construction  and  Solar  Energy
        energy systems. In working with solar instal-  program  or  our  Welding  program  and  begin
        lation  companies,  students  gain  knowledge   realize  how  important  math  really  is  to  the
        about the basic components of a solar energy   success of their project.”
        system,  such  as  how  energy  works,  how  to   “One  of  the  aspects  that  I  like  about
        prep  for  solar  panel  installation, and  how  to   the  program  at  Irondale  is  that  students  see
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