McKinstry often talks about the impact of school facility improvements on students—better air quality, improved academic performance, and utility bill savings that can then be better spent on supplies and technology.
That being said, McKinstry’s commitment to education often goes beyond building projects. We love to be involved at the classroom level in the school districts where we live and work. In fact, McKinstry recently visited DeForest Area School District in Wisconsin and Wayzata Public Schools in Minnesota for that very reason.
In November 2015, Trenton Smith and Dan Choi from McKinstry’s office in Madison, Wisc. visited Windsor Elementary in nearby DeForest Area School District as volunteers during the school’s Junior Achievement Day.
Dan and Trenton actively engaged more than 20 young learners in Mrs. Keyes’ first grade class in discussions about what makes a neighborhood, what a business is, what businesses they might find in a neighborhood, and the differences between a need (food, shelter, clothing) and a want (toys or a puppy).
By taking part in these critical thinking exercises, Dan and Trenton gave these students an early introduction into the important concepts of community, planning, and prioritizing. This was their second visit to the school as part of an ongoing McKinstry partnership, with a third Junior Achievement Day scheduled in March.
In January 2016, Chris Sawyer and Jessica Aleshire from McKinstry’s Minneapolis office participated in a Career Exploration Day at Wayzata High School in Plymouth, Minn. Nearly 80 high school students attended the optional event to meet with professionals from the engineering and construction industries and discover potential career paths in those fields.
The Wayzata students asked a variety of questions from “What does an engineer do?” to “What kind of education and experience will help me get started in the energy or construction trades?”
After spending about two hours with students, Chris and Jessica joined other industry participants in meeting with a few teachers from the high school to discuss how secondary students interested in energy or construction careers can be further supported in pursing that line of work.
McKinstry realizes that America’s next generation of engineers, electricians, and pipefitters is currently learning in classrooms like these in the Midwest. It’s why we value making the K-12 learning environment the very best it can be, and it’s why we’re privileged to play our small part in nurturing the students who will—quite literally—build our future.