A group of Arizona State University construction management and construction engineering students took part in an entertaining and competitive event to demonstrate their skills at operating some of the heavy equipment used in the building industry.
During the recent spring semester 17 students in the Del E. Webb School of Construction Programs participated in the Arizona Equipment Safety Partnering Roadeo, organized by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). They were joined by a number of construction management students from Northern Arizona University for the event at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix.
The Roadeo tested students’ knowledge and skills through a written test, an equipment diagnostic challenge, an obstacle course and safety training activities.
Students had to pick up an egg and place it in a cup using a mini-excavator and maneuver a 35,000-pound excavator through an obstacle course to lift a concrete block and put it in a specific location.
A third exercise required student to perform an inspection of a piece of constructive equipment and determine which of its components had been sabotaged.
Students’ performances in each activity were judged by ADOT officials and representatives from the various construction equipment supply businesses. Awards were given for first, second, and third place.
ASU junior Bobby Scarsella earned the overall first-place award with the fastest time in the egg-and-excavator competition and perfect marks on three equipment inspections.
The event helped make the students more knowledgeable about the kind of equipment used by construction laborers who the students may someday have to manage during their future careers, says Aaron Cohen, the Associated General Contractors lecturer in the Del E. Webb School of Construction Programs.
“It gives students an appreciation for the jobs of those individuals who handle heavy machinery and technical equipment on the job every day,” Cohen said.
The ASU students challenged Cohen to try the egg-and-excavator race. “I destroyed all of their times until Scarsella got up and beat my time to win by two seconds,” he said.
Scarsella said he’s enjoying the “big fancy belt buckle” he was awarded for his first-place finish and plans to return next year to defend his title.
The Del E. Webb School of Construction Programs is part of the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, one of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.