The Birmingham Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) recently hosted its annual Block Kids event at Chalkville Elementary School.
This year, 29 fifth grade girls participated in the Birmingham event. The goal of Block Kids is to build awareness of the construction industry among children, thereby presenting them with additional options for what they can be when they "grow up."
The idea is straightforward — and fun. Participants are given a 1-foot-square piece of aluminum foil, a length of string, a rock, and approximately 100 Lego blocks. They have one hour to use their imagination and build something out of the materials provided.
Once the construction is complete, the students were asked to explain what they made, what they were thinking as they built it, what it could be used for, and what they want to be when they grow up. Judges considered those answers — along with originality and creativity, attention to detail, use of the provided materials, and overall enthusiasm — in determining the winners.
Judges included Ralph Weathers (M.J. Harris, Inc.), Teresa Magnus (Southern Company), Janette Humphries (Southern Company), Mike Kennedy (Simpson Commercial Contracting), George Simpson (Simpson Commercial Contracting), John LaRussa (Golden & Associates), Kevin Hicks (M.J. Harris, Inc.), Chris Mclaughlin (Parker Electric), John Landers (Trammel Harper & Williams), Steve Lemay (Sherman/Superock), Rob Vaughan (Brasfield & Gorrie), Casey Stricklen (Brasfield & Gorrie), Ed Whatley (Brasfield & Gorrie), Walter Jones (Brasfield & Gorrie), and Christy Perdue (Brasfield & Gorrie).
Birmingham NAWIC recognized first, second and third place winners. First place went to Ceara Gray, who used her materials to construct a house in space. Ceara's first-place entry will be submitted to the Regional Block Kids Competition, where it will compete for a $100 savings bond and for the chance to be entered into the national competition. Katie Foust took second place for the Twin Towers, and third place went to Deja Wilson for her Homeless Shelter.
Birmingham NAWIC's Block Kids competition was coordinated by Chairman Heidi Hutter of Sandell Mfg. Other NAWIC members assisting with the event were Amanda Smith (M.J. Harris, Inc.), Rhonda Grounds (M.J. Harris, Inc.), Virnetta Green (Brasfield & Gorrie), and Stacey Randle (Simpson Commercial Contracting).