Wapato High School Students Get Hands-On Experience in Construction - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wapato High School Students Get Hands-On Experience in Construction

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WAPATO, Wa -  Yakima Fire District #5 is hosting a fire investigation class.  They say having high school students build the wooden cubicles they need for it is a win-win situation.  Students started putting the cubicles together Wednesday morning and spoke with me about the experience.  

Students drilled sheet rock to a wooden frame.  Hammered walls together.  Hector Garza's construction trade class looked more like a construction company.

Jeremy Kisner says it's worth all the toil and sweat even if the cubicles they build will be burned to the ground.

"We're actually out of the class," Jeremy says, "We get out of the construction tech room and come into the wide space." 

Students put together ten wooden cubicles for Yakima Fire District #5.  They'll be used to certify ten new fire investigators next week.

Firefighters did not have time to build the cubicles themselves, which turned out to be an opportunity, not a problem.

"This is the first time the class actually gets to do their job.  Class time has been in the class, in the shop, building walls, building floors."

The wooden cubicles may look plain, but they're crucial tools in teaching firefighters how to investigate fires.

They're also teaching these students some valuable skills they can't learn in a classroom.

"Just like sports teams, you have a leader.  You have a foreman.  Someone to look up to," Jeremy says.

The idea to use the high school students came from the building inspector in Wapato who knew about the program.