STEAM Summer Internship Kick-off

Becca Houlehan and Lauren Millard
Turner Construction Company & Kisseck Construction 
Sion's belief in the transformative power of learning is rooted in the unique charism of the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Sion. Curriculum and instruction at Notre Dame de Sion High School are designed to support learning that empowers minds, transforms hearts, and impacts lives. As part of our current strategic plan, a clear priority was named around solidifying our market position in academic excellence with a focus on advancing our STEAM program and course offerings. Notre Dame de Sion has identified upgrading our high school facilities as a top priority, namely elevating and expanding the current science lab spaces. This need can be attributed to Sion's effort to (1) meet the interest, logistical, and programmatic needs of the Sion community, (2) increase the connection and engagement to nature, light, and the outdoors, and (3) construct flexible and integrated learning spaces that align with Sion's mission.

2022 STEAM Summer Internship: 
As an intern for Notre Dame de Sion High School and Turner Construction Company, students  will have the opportunity to work closely with a project manager, project engineer, and marketing and content
coordinator to assist in creating and managing marketing communications for NDS and Turner. Digital audio-visual communications will preview and update the community on the construction process
of the Science Atrium. Students will produce engaging content that is creative, impactful, and tells
a story to a diverse audience. In this real-world, collaborative, and client-connected STEAM
internship, students will gain lifelong technical, trade-specific, and professional skills.

Construction Update:
Sion’s 2022 STEAM summer interns cohort kicked off their internship on June 22, 2022! Students connected with John Schmitt, Bethany Riley, and Clay Roberts - respectively, the Superintendent, Sr. Project Manager, and Project Engineer from Turner Construction Company. The third week of June, Turner announced that demolition was 90% finished. Several new walls have been framed and plumbing has been installed in the new labs!

*Did you know, this build will double the number of labs at Sion from two to four? 
*Did you know that a special corrosive waste drainage system has to be fitted in the labs for proper waste chemical disposal? Otherwise, disposal of corrosive compounds can compromise the structural integrity of untreated pipes. 

Students completed a safety orientation and fully geared up for a behind the scenes tour of the construction site. As with all projects, there are bound to be unforeseen issues. With such problems, unique solutions must be found through the dedicated team of architects and engineers. Several factors are considered when choosing the best decision. It takes innovative, solution-focused, and collaborative thinking to ensure timely and masterful project completion. 

Concrete or Cement?
With each job site visit, interns connect with a different sub partner to learn a bit more about their trade and role in the build process. This week, students heard from Pete Browne, co-founder and President of Kisseck Construction, members of his team, and Fordyce Concrete. Did you know, commonly mistaken for the other, cement and concrete are two completely different substances?
Concrete is a chemically complex mixture of ingredients including sand, rock aggregate, water, and cement. Cement is a fine powder which, when activated, acts as a paste holding the concrete together. In addition to the four base materials, there is a plethora of additional substances that can be added depending on the needs of each different project. These substances can speed up or slow down the rate the concrete sets, or even alter the texture. This is helpful with the increasing heat adding a ticking clock for the concrete. Most projects are limited to a 25 mile radius from each warehouse, or the driver runs the risk of the concrete setting too early. At Sion, concrete is laid by workers from Fordyce Concrete and Kissick Construction. From structural support to stepping stones, their work lays a foundation for future generations. Check out our other blog post on how you can make stepping stones in your very own home! 

What was once the library and publications lab is now a wide gap where two new labs and the science atrium will soon be built. 
A glimpse into the demolished classrooms on the second floor shows the view and light the new science atrium will soon offer.
Kissek Construction and Fordyce Concrete experts assist the Sion student interns in pouring their own concrete stepping stones.