ADA, MICHIGAN -- Nearly one hundred students from GRPS's Innovation Central HS's Academies of Modern Engineering and for Design & Construction spent the morning in Ada, Michigan speaking to lead engineers, construction managers and town officials about the Envision Ada reconstruction project. This was the final field trip being organized by Director for Innovative Strategies, Gideon Sanders, who said it was the one hundred and fifth field trip he had helped to organize and execute in the 2016-17 school year. As with all of the field trips, this was another opportunity for the students to engage the learning they had done in the classroom with the real life application of that curriculum.
The students had two sessions. One session took place indoors in the Ada Town Hall, where students heard from town officials on how the project came about, the intent and scope of the project from Moore & Bruggink master engineer Steve Groenenboom, and the vast input from the residents of Ada. The other session was held at the work site on the 900 foot stretch of Ada Drive between Fulton and Headley. The students were shown how the lead company, K & R Construction, utilized drones to survey the area, the technical aspects of raising the road as much as eight feet in some areas and the necessary precautions that needed to be taken for the pipefitters who were working on the underground lines in the project. The impact on local businesses was also a topic discussed so that the students understood the broad implications a project like this had on a community like Ada Village.
Through the questions they asked and the observations they made, the students were able to have a clear understanding that the $1.9 million dollar project covered an expanse of 900 feet right where they were standing. They could clearly see where Phase 1 had ended with the elevation of part of the road and where Phase 2 had begun in early June with the preparation of pipes and sewer lines as well as the import of nearly 7,000 yards of sand for the elevation process.
The buzz from the students on the trip back to the school as well as the follow-up class discussions was audible. The field trip took the kids from the classroom and allowed them to apply the theoretical they had been studying all year long to see the real world application of the curriculum so very close to their own community. It was a tremendous collaborative effort on the part of the Envision Ada project, Moore & Bruggink, K & R Construction and Innovation Central HS in GRPS. It was another opportunity for the community partners to open their doors to the students as they wind their way through the maze of career paths available to them.
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