By Dave Ongie
Robbie Tester, who teaches construction classes at Science Hill, says he’s constantly trying to hammer home one simple point to his students – if you can work with your hands, it will open up a world of opportunity.
The next decade will bring with it a massive turnover in the workforce, and several industries will see a demand for millions of new sets of highly skilled hands. This past weekend, the Johnson City Area Home Builders Association provided some of these future workers a platform to show off the skills they are developing.
Teams of high school students from Science Hill, David Crockett, Daniel Boone, Elizabethton, Unicoi County and Carter County competed in the inaugural Battle of the Build this past weekend during the Johnson City Home and
Outdoor Show inside the mini dome.
The rules were simple. Each team had $500 to build anything that could fit inside a 6-foot by 6-foot by 8-foot cube, and the results were as impressive as they were imaginative. The Science Hill team built a garden shed while Crockett’s team constructed a concrete fire pit.
In the end, the Carter County team comprised of Happy Valley, Unaka, Hampton and Cloudland won the top prize for their portable chicken coop. Elizabethton took second for its furniture creation and Crockett finished third.
Each team was also able to sell their creations through a silent auction that closed at the end of the show on Sunday.