For three Saturdays in July, students from the Construction Management program came to the UH campus for a special project. They weren't receiving a grade or credit or any kind of payment.
"We are building a playhouse for abused children in Montgomery County," said Andy Cordova, UH senior and president of the UH Associated Builders and Contractors.
The Montgomery County chapter of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) asked them to build playground equipment for the children CASA assists.
"I wanted to theme it around our program. We are constructions managers," he said. "It's going to look like a crane truck with a cab on the front, a steering wheel, windows and switches for the kids to play with inside, and on the backside there will be an operable crane, so they can raise and lower a bucket and spin it around."
Students fold in classroom lessons with real-world experiences from their industry internships and collaborations. Twenty-five UH students participated in the project.
"Some of them are constructing the panels for the cab, some of them help with the frame, I have a designer working on the crane system and they each have three or four people working with them," Cordova said.
The students aspire to be the next generation of construction industry professionals. For this project, their ambitions are much simpler.
"Just smiles and laughter," he said. "The kids who will benefit don't have that. They don't have the smiles. They come from a background that is not happy, and I want to change that."
Giving back is part of what's happening at the University of Houston. I’m Marisa Ramirez.