Ball State University construction management major Jared Ripley of Monroe is educating children who could be his future employees.

Mentored by Jennifer Warrner, assistant lecturer of construction management, Ripley and his classmates involved in the Let’s Build immersive learning course at Ball State this Spring semester spent time each week introducing kindergartners to the construction industry in Longfellow Elementary School in Muncie.

“This project has shown me just how much children love to learn,” said Ripley, who just completed his sophomore year. “It was great to serve these kids and give them a better idea of what construction is.”

From basic principles of construction to future career options in the field, the team of students brought a new concept from the construction industry into the classroom through an interactive project each week. The Ball State students and kindergartners worked in small groups on the week’s projects, which can range from constructing a toolbox to even stretching student’s creativity with just a few supplies.

With a dwindling number of people working in the trades, Let’s Build serves as an opportunity for construction management majors like Ripley to expose youth to such an important industry and interact with the community in a unique way.

“Ball State has empowered me to become the best individual that I could possibly be,” Ripley said. “Ball state has pushed me to try and do the best in and out of class.”

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