RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - The South Dakota Associated General Contractors partners with Rapid City Schools twice a year to give students real-life exposure to the heavy equipment industry, by providing video-game like simulators.
At Rapid City High School, students in the geometry in construction class use the simulators and apply math in a unique way.
Students agree this type of learning is effective.
"Learning at the same time hands on, makes it easier to do the math part, instead of sitting there all day and doing absolutely just book work," RCHS Senior Ricky Jackson said.
Although, this course usually takes students out of the traditional classroom atmosphere.
Instructor Jeff Nelsen said, "We know how to figure the area of a rectangle, why do I care? Well maybe you want to carpet your living room, how much carpet do you need, paint a wall perhaps, shingle a roof, these types of things."
The instructor says that with college tuition rates on the rise, students should consider a back-up, like this rewarding career.
"Wherever we've had a natural disaster the past few years, the shortage is phenomenal, here in Rapid City if you have a skilled trade and a desire to work you can have a job by one o'clock," Jeff said.
With only 18 percent of people in the Black Hills working in construction, Rapid City schools hope students take trade work into consideration.