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Norman Public Schools students get hands-on with building homes

June 19, 2024

Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods has a long history of internships with college students. Recently, the Ideal Internships Team reached out to Norman Public Schools with the idea to develop a program for high school students. The goal was to expose the students to the variety of careers available in residential construction and to help grow the opportunities for students and the industry alike.

Ideal’s Internships Team is passionate about building up future generations. “Most of us, when we were younger, did not know what we wanted out of life,” said Greg Rex, Ideal’s VP of Production. Offering students a chance to interact with mentors who enjoy their work and their lives, in general, can help them develop insight into their future direction. “We all enjoyed seeing the students each week and seeing how they grew as they saw how the building process worked and how they could have careers in different areas.”

Rex says the weekly presentations showed students the process of building a home – how each step proceeds from the previous. “This first year we had six students participate. On week one, we started with foundations,” Rex said. “We went to a concrete pour, and we showed them the building plans, terminology, and tools. The foundation company owner talked to them also about how his business works.”

Each Friday afternoon the internship meeting began at the previous week’s location so the students could see the progress the home made week to week. Over the semester many of the participating trade partners taught them not only how the work is done, but how their businesses ran and how to begin working in their specific trade. 

The students told their mentors they enjoyed getting hands-on experience with materials and tools that will help them as they look to their future careers.