Iowa students invited to take part in design, building competition

(Des Moines, IA) -- Iowa K-12 students have an opportunity to take part in a statewide design and building challenge, and win up to $1,000 for their schools.

The Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning and the Home Builders Association of Iowa are hosting the challenge to spur interest in design and building careers. The Iowa Association of Community College Trustees, Kreg Tool Company and Pella Corporation are sponsoring the challenge awards.

“The BuildIowa’s Future Design Challenge will help students see how subjects like math and science can be applied in the real world while cultivating creativity, problem-solving and other critical skills,” said Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo. “Through work-based learning opportunities, students see the connection between the classroom and the workplace where they can explore and prepare for careers that fit them. The challenge is available to all students in rural and urban communities across Iowa, and I’m excited to see the projects they produce.”

“With approximately 7.5 million construction jobs projected nationwide by 2026, and ongoing industry expansion, we want students to explore those opportunities for great-paying jobs. This project makes that introduction in a creative way,” said HBA of Iowa ExecutiveOfficer Jay Iverson. “Our members are excited to see what students are able to come up with.”

Elementary and middle school students can build a model home using toy plastic construction bricks, wood blocks or other materials. High school students can design a community improvement project.

Teachers can submit a form letter of intent to participate on the Clearinghouse website by Sept. 29, 2021.

Three awards – $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place and $300 for third place – will be made to schools in each of the K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 grade groups in May of 2022. Outstanding designs may be shared on Clearinghouse and HBA of Iowa websites and through other publications and events. Learn more about the design challenge at:


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