Portland Chapter #54 (Portland, OR) — Kavika Sione, a 5th grade student in Mrs. Zoe Atallah’s class at Crestline Elementary School in Vancouver, WA, won 1st place in the Pacific Northwest Region Block Kids Competition. Kavika was recognized at the NAWIC Pacific Northwest Region Forum on April 21st in Salem, OR.
Kavika’s submission was a tower crane with a pyramid shaped counterweight.
When asked about why he decided to build a tower crane, Kavika said “I used to see pyramids when I flew over to Egypt and I see a lot of cranes around the city. That is why inspired me to build my design.”
When asked what would he like to be when he grows up, Kavika said “Lawyer or a Construction Worker. Building is what I’m most passionate about.”
One of the judges at the local competition, Uma Dharmadasa from Skanska, had commented on Kavika’s design “He took his time to think it through before he started building it. With his remaining time he found a way to use the foil to stabilize the base of this crane. He was also analyzing the counterweight of the boom to see if he can make a better design.”
One of the comments from the regional judging panel said, “I thought it was great that he kept trying to figure out ways to improve his design. He was obviously very excited about building his crane.”
Block Kids Building Competition is a national building competition that is sponsored on the local level by NAWIC chapters. The award-winning program introduces children to the construction industry in an effort to create awareness and promote careers in the industry. The competition is open to children in grades K-6. Participants are provided with interlocking blocks and the following additional items: small rock, string, foil or poster board. They are then given 40-60 minutes with which to use their imagination and build a project using the interlocking blocks and up to three of the additional items. For more information about the program, please visit https://nef-edu.org/block-kids-building-competition/
The Portland Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) put on their Annual Block Kids Building Program Competition on Friday, January 26th for the 5th grade class at Crestline Elementary School in Vancouver, WA. Ninety (90) 5th graders at Crestline Elementary participated in the competition sponsored by NAWIC Portland Chapter #54. The competition was held in the cafeteria, where students received plastic yellow hard hats and sat at designated areas where their construction kits were placed on top of architectural sheet placemats. Their building kits contained 75 Lego blocks, string and foil and they were given 40 minutes with which to build their projects. Student projects included a Japanese temple, a well, dance studio, several bridges, the Space Needle, and a solar panel.
13 volunteers from local construction companies were on hand to interview and encourage the students.
Maddy Stolowicz from Andersen Construction,
Janelle Kolisch from CBRE/Heery,
Sofia Woods from Convergint Technologies,
Kelly Niemela from LaPorte & Associates,
Emily Miller form Parsons, Farnell & Grein,
Gloria Bruning and Charris Sonne-Phinney form Anchor Insurance & Surety,
Meghan Herteg and Erika O’Callaghan from Walsh Construction,
Kelly Aust, Patrick Bestebreur, Uma Dharmadasa and Daphne Patrick from Skanska.
Winners received Visa Giftcards; $50 for 1st place, $30 for second place and $20 for third place. The overall winner advances to a regional contest where their submission is judged against the first place submission from other chapters. The overall regional winner advances to a national competition where their submission is judged against the overall winners from the seven (7) other NAWIC regions across the United States.
At the Pacific Northwest Regional Forum, the results of the regional competition were revealed. Kavika Sione took 1st place with his tower crane. Kavika received an award and a check for $100 for winning the regional competition. His submission will also be entered into the national competition for consideration.
“The Block Kids competition is truly an inspiring event; fun, light-hearted and thoroughly enjoyed by both the children and our volunteers. It’s an exciting way to get young people to start thinking about their futures and to promote the construction industry, a frequently overlooked career path, to the next generation of builders.” said Portland Chapter President, Kelly Aust, a project manager at Skanska, “Kavika did a great job and we’re really proud of him. The judges at both levels were very impressed not just by what he built but by the thought and energy that was behind it. I think his thoughtfulness and perseverance will take him a long ways and we look forward to seeing what he will accomplish in the future!”
The Portland chapter of NAWIC was founded in 1961 and currently has 77 members representing the Portland Metro Area including SW Washington. Members are involved in operations, legal, accounting, marking, sales, and a multitude of other professions that are centered on the construction industry.