For decades S. M. Wilson has proudly built education facilities, and our work has had a tremendous impact on our community. In addition to supporting individual student interest, we strive to support the serious needs of our industry to promote career paths in the trades and provide access to those careers.
As we began to see the effects the pandemic was having on our clients, specifically, those working in education, S. M. Wilson quickly reached out to Owners and organizations to determine the best way to offer support. With students, teachers and parents having to rapidly transition to online learning, many felt overwhelmed with limited information and how to present it to students of varying age levels.
At the onset of COVID, S. M. Wilson’s construction career education program, SKILLEDTM, began developing an online learning curriculum. Wilsonites came together to develop virtual aids such as at-home STEAM activities, online project presentations, videos on construction career information, construction storytimes and more to continue to bring construction career education to the classroom.
At the beginning of April, Director of Client Development, Jim Hoette, discussed the ins and outs of a construction project with 30 engineering students from the School District of Clayton over video conferencing.
Clayton High School Engineering Teacher, Steve Beauchamp says, “I wanted to give a quick shout out and a huge thank you to S. M. Wilson’s SKILLED program for meeting virtually with our engineering students. We appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedules to give exposure to all the engineering and problem solving that goes into construction. We thank you so much for your time, for your effort and for your dedication to education.”
Through these virtual project presentations, S. M. Wilson is able to provide first-hand experiences in a flexible environment to demonstrate and discuss different aspects of the A/E/C industry.
The materials can also be incorporated into existing curriculums, support school programs and continue to better meet the needs of more PreK–12 students interested in the construction industry. PreK teacher at Kirkwood Early Childhood Center, Monica Ealy, began using the storytime videos and STEAM activities over the summer.
Monica says, “It can be particularly challenging to teach four and five-year-olds online, especially when many of their parents have full-time jobs. The lesson plans are easy to follow and engaging for students and have been a great resource for us.”
The free educator resources can also be used in person as Districts slowly transition back to school. Monica says, “With safety precautions in place, some of the younger students are back at school in person a few days a week. The videos and accompanying activities have been great for students as they are interactive and educational while still fitting into all of the safety guidelines we are using in the classroom.”
Outside the classroom, S. M. Wilson has also begun sharing SKILLED’s new resources with organizations such as the St. Louis County Library, Ready Readers and Cardinal Glennon.
Director of Client Development, Kristyn Newbern, says, “This pandemic has caused unprecedented stress on educators and students in our communities. With this addition to our SKILLED programming, we can contribute quality educational content for virtual and in-person learning environments.”