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Brothers Daniel and Diego Castaneda, tower climbs to the sky on Saturday, Jan. 26. The brothers participated in the School of Construction's Block Kids event to promote innovation with a young generation. Levi DeWitt

Community children compete in construction workshop

Children ranging from first to sixth grade joined in a construction workshop called “Block Kids” and competed for first place.  

The School of Construction and the National Association of Women in Construction put on an event for kids at the KTC Saturday from 12-3 p.m.  

“We bring local grade school students in, grades one through six, so that they can build a project and what we give them is a bag that has Legos in it, it has aluminum foil, a string, and a rock, and then from there they are told to build a construction project using their imagination and skills to come up with whatever project they decide to build,” said Dennis Audo, associate professor in the school of construction. 

With about 30 in attendance there were many children there to compete for first place. This is Pittsburg State’s 11th year putting on this event.  

“They do a similar event like this in Wichita and the school of construction faculty, we would go up there once a year to help judge in the event in Wichita and we decided we wanted to get the event started here,” Audo said. 

“It is the national association of women in construction, which is NAWC, they’re the ones that put it on in Wichita and they helped us get it started here at Pitt state,” Audo said. 

Winners in each group received construction related prizes that were relevant to their age group, some got plastic tool boxes from Home Depot, some received construction hats from construction companies, etc.  

First place winners have a chance to go on to other competitions as well.  

“There is a regional competition that our grand prize winner does, their name gets forwarded on to, so that they can participate in that…in years past we’ve had winners from our competitions win in the regional competition as well,” Audo said. 

Henry Morris son of Cliff Morris, assistant professor in the school of construction, won first place in his age group.  

“My son enjoys the workshop and looks forward to it every year,” Morris said. “Participating with Block Kids allows students to be creative with Legos.”  

Henry won first place in his division and won a Pitt State t-shirt as well as construction tools such as a hardhat and toolset, and an orange toolbox. 

“My son said it was very fun and it can really make you think about things, he said the Block Kids events helps him think about his future,” Morris said. 

Morris’ children have competed in the Block Kids event for several years, however this year only his son competed due to age restrictions.  

“My son built a road construction site, the site had a shed, telephone pole, crane, road grader, and the remnants of a landslide. He built his project on an elevated platform made of aluminum foil and Legos,” Morris said. 

“I thought Henry did very well. He loves to build with Legos and has a very good imagination,” Morris said. 

Another faculties’ child won as well. Andrea Kent-McConnaughey’s, assistant professor in graphics and imaging technologies, child placed second.  

Children in attendance of the workshop got the chance to boost their creativity in a competition to show how much they know. 

“It just helps them get out and show their creativity and the things that they already know, a little bit of their imagination, and just show off their abilities a little bit,” Audo said. 

It also gave them the chance to learn more and if they choose to, return next year with their new-found knowledge. 

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