Students Learn About Skilled Construction Trades During Science and Engineering Day

Workforce Development

It was a STEAM-filled (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) adventure for 140 elementary students at The Meadowbrook School near Abington Township, Pa., during Science & Engineering Day. Students explored an agenda inspired by the children’s book The House That She Built, which describes careers in the residential construction industry and the skills required for these jobs.

At the Meadowbrook event, book author Mollie Elkman, illustrator Georgia Castellano, and publisher Patricia Potts noted to students that the book was inspired by a true story, with residential construction tradeswomen from around the country coming to Utah to build a real home that was successfully sold last fall.

The House That She Built book features 18 different trade professions. The speakers discussed some of the skills required for the trades, such as math, science and organization.

With that background, the students worked on their own hands-on projects. Small groups worked together to build a small-scale version of a room in a home out of cardboard, paper, tape and recyclables.

The kids got creative with their room designs: Game and movie rooms came to life, a party room with patterned tile emerged, outdoor living spaces were created complete with hot tubs and pools. Some students even added lights to their room using an electric battery.

Individual rooms were later brought to the gym and assembled to complete an entire home building project.

Students then toured an exhibit and a work truck displaying the tools and building supplies associated with the skilled trades necessary to build a home. After building toothpick houses, the kids tested their load-bearing abilities and resistance to wind. Some also got to build a little library and a bridge.

The students learned valuable lessons in science, technology, art, engineering, math, construction careers and more.

The House That She Built book has been gaining momentum since its publication in September 2021. The Girl Scouts recently launched a The House That She Built Patch and Charm Program.

To learn more about The House That She Built published by NAHB BuilderBooks and supported by 84 Lumber and Andersen Windows & Doors, visit

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