NDSCS students earn national ranking at SkillsUSA Championships

Shayne, Cale, Zach, Ruari - SkillsUSA winners

North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) students recently earned top awards at the National SkillsUSA Championships held during the National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) in Atlanta, Georgia. Four NDSCS students earned the national spotlight for their achievements.

Zachary Lahlum of Marion, N.D. earned a gold medal in the Power Equipment Technology category. In Power Equipment Technology, Lahlum’s skills were tested in all areas of technology including: repair and maintenance of chainsaws and other handheld power equipment; understanding related theories; interpreting electrical and hydraulic schematics; and customer service skills. About his time competing in SkillsUSA, Lahlum noted, “I have made many great friends through SkillsUSA, but more importantly, I have been able to network with industry professionals. I enjoyed competing because everything is relevant and useful for my future career.”

Cale Mouser of Tenstrike, Minn. also earned a gold medal award in the Diesel Equipment Technology category. Mouser cycled through 14 stations testing and troubleshooting engines, electrical and electronics systems, powertrain systems and more during this competition. He demonstrated numerous shop skills, and also performed a job interview and completed a written test. Involvement with SkillsUSA has clearly left an impression on Mouser, as he reports, “SkillsUSA is dedicated to preparing the leaders of the world’s work force through hands-on involvement, industry partnerships, and access to up-and-coming technology. Through involvement in this organization, students are not only taught industry specific skills, but how to think critically and efficiently. It is through the skilled hands of thinkers that technology advances, and SkillsUSA is a crucial member in creating the industry of tomorrow.”

Shayne Hoffman of New Hradec, N.D. won a bronze medal in the Architectural Drafting category. Hoffman, an Architectural Modeling & Design Technology student at NDSCS, used his drafting skills and Autodesk Revit computer software to design a residential addition to an existing home located in Florida. The competition included a written test, hand sketch, and drawings. Hoffman reflected on his experience by saying, "Through SkillsUSA I was able to see my progression year after year, which has helped me for my future career by improving my technical skills through the competition and my soft skills through networking with the many industry contacts who attend.”

Ruari Devlin of Grand Forks, N.D. also won a bronze medal at the National SkillsUSA competition with his award in the CNC Programmer category. Devlin was evaluated, in part, on his ability to independently plan and program jobs for various types of CNC machines and provide instructions for operators to execute.

The SkillsUSA Championship is one of the largest hands-on workforce events in the world, and is known for competitions showcasing the best career and technical education students in the nation. This year, nearly 6,200 contestants from across the country competed in 110 separate events.

Article written by NDSCS and submitted to external news outlets. 

NDSCS wins 2nd Place at 2023 NAHB Student Competition

Architectural Modeling and Design team at IBS competition

NDSCS students from the Architectural Modeling and Design Technology program won 2nd place in the Associates degree program category of the NAHB Student Competition held during the 2023 NAHB International Builders’ Show® (IBS) in Las Vegas, NV. Their design proposal and presentation were showcased against seven comparable college programs throughout the United States. In total, 63 teams representing universities, community colleges, high schools, and career technical schools across the U.S. participated in the annual student competition.

For more than 30 years, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has held a student construction design competition during the International Builders’ Show (IBS). This annual competition has been a memorable part of the IBS, and gives student members of NAHB the opportunity to apply the skills learned in the classroom to a real construction project. Teams do this by completing a management project and submitting it to the construction company executives who act as judges.

During the fall semester, students form teams and prepare a written proposal to solve real-life construction management problems. Each team is given a design problem and building criteria, and the students were required to produce drawings and sketches to assist in developing the estimate, documenting the quantities, and showcasing their knowledge of the constructability of the home. They were also required to produce a detailed estimate of the required material and labor for their plan, along with a complete construction time schedule for the project (outlining a logical construction sequence). Teams then travel to the IBS and present their solutions to a judging panel of residential construction industry experts. This year’s IBS competition presentations were held January 30–February 1, 2023, where all the student teams presented their project and materials, and answered questions from the judges.

“NDSCS has competed nationally at the International Builders Show for 13 years and we always have awesome lessons to show for the hard work that is put forth. Seeing the students work as a team through the semester while networking and finding solutions to difficult (and real-life) problems that they can push forward to accomplish a big task,” said Lara Lekang, NDSCS Architectural Modeling & Design associate professor. “I’m so proud of what they accomplished and received with their 2nd place spot. We all had a great time in Las Vegas – seeing ‘big, fancy’ homes, the newest technology, and of course the sites of the city. I hope the students remember this time fondly as they grow into young professionals. The construction industry has made it known that they support the student’s hard work and future endeavors!”

Charner Rodgers, Ph.D., chair of the NAHB Student Chapter Advisory Board and construction management professor at the New School of Architecture & Design said of the student competitors, “These students are the future leaders of the construction industry, and they deserve recognition for their impressive commitment to participating in the competition.”

"Student teams networked with other students, industry professionals, and builder members all week long,” said competition consultant, Scott Kelting, Ph.D., Kelting Consulting. “You can really see that this industry is one big community, and how the competition better prepares students for career opportunities in all aspects of home building."

Photo Caption: (Back Row - L to R) Advisor: Lara Lekang, Competing Members: Shayne Hoffman, Brooke Glynn, Madison Semerad, Annah Evavold, Cade Shoemaker (Front Row L to R) Alternates: David Hartung, Rylee Groth, Meghan Roller, Emily Schmidt


Article written by NDSCS and submitted to external news outlets. 

Nathan Longlet

Nathan Longlet

Architectural Modeling & Design
Horton Hall 237
Randy Stach

Randy Stach

Architectural Modeling & Design
Construction Management Technology
Associate Professor/Program Director
Horton Hall 240
Lara Lekang

Lara Lekang

Architectural Modeling & Design
Construction Management Technology
Associate Professor/Program Coordinator
Horton Hall 239

Architectural Modeling & Design Technology

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Get hands-on experiences in computer-aided drafting (CAD) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) for residential and commercial buildings, estimating, structural design, mechanical and electrical systems for buildings, presentation techniques and remodeling.

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The Architectural Modeling & Design Technology program prepares students for careers in construction-related industries, such as architectural drafting, CAD/BIM management, construction estimating, construction-related sales and project coordination.

The program includes classroom and hands-on training in:

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Students will learn and become proficient in the following software: 

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Other software students will be exposed to includes Lumion (rendering software), Twinmotion (rendering software), SketchUp (3D modeling software) and ProCore (construction management documentation software). All software is provided to the students at no additional cost.

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