Career and College Fair at Diego Valley Charter High School

Written by Alyssa Burley.

On April 29, 2016, Project Cornerstone had the pleasure of participating in the Career and College Fair at Diego Valley Charter School in El Cajon, CA.  High school students attended the event to learn about possible career paths and higher education opportunities.

Photo by Alyssa Burley.

Photo by Alyssa Burley.

Project Cornerstone's Construction Aggregates booth was highly popular among the students.  Many of them didn't know what construction aggregates were when they first walked up to the booth.  However, by the time they left, they were saying things like, "wow, I never thought about this as a career."  Others commented how they thought "this industry is really cool!"

Students learned about the various careers from heavy equipment operator, to engineers, geologist, lab technicians and more.

Project Cornerstone looks forward to participating in future career and college fairs at Diego Valley Charter.  

Letters from Diego Valley Charter High School Students

Written by Alyssa Burley.

Project Cornerstone visited Diego Valley Charter High School on November 24, 2015 and February 9, 2016 at its El Cajon and Lakeside campuses.

Two students decided to share their Project Cornerstone experience.  Their letters were read at the Project Cornerstone Annual Meeting on February 25, 2016.

Lyzette Rubenstein

"Hi my name is Lyzette Rubenstein. I’m a student at Diego Valley at our Lakeside Learning Center and I participated in the concrete seminar. I enjoyed participating in the seminar because I’m a kinesthetic learner and I prefer having a hands-on experience learning. That is exactly what the seminar was. The project tied a lot into math and science, because we had to make measurements and calculations. We got to learn about the different rocks and sand such as the sand that came from the beaches and sand that came from the river. I feel that having more projects that are hands on would be very helpful for students, because they get to learn in a new way and interact with others and the material is right there in front of them rather thanreading out of a textbook or getting a lecture.  I hope in the future we get more opportunities to do more seminars like this in our school at Lakeside Learning Center."

Download Lyzette Rubenstein's letter.

Lyzette Rubenstein, Student at Diego Valley Charter School.

Lyzette Rubenstein, Student at Diego Valley Charter School.

Samantha Moses, Student at Diego Valley Charter School.

Samantha Moses, Student at Diego Valley Charter School.

Samantha Moses

"Last month I was encouraged to participate in a hands on lab about construction and concrete. During the lab, the interaction between students and the Project Cornerstone instructors was great. We worked closely with sand and other minerals found in concrete, which was really interesting because we learned about their applications in real life. I never thought about how widely common the use of concrete is before participating in this class.

My favorite part of the class was mixing different dry materials and watching the reaction as it became wet concrete. It was pretty amazing to see how you can take small amounts of rocks and mix them with sand and water to make concrete. After making our own concrete, we were able to place the concrete into molds to make different shapes and figures. We were also able to add die, using colored powder, to make the molds colorful. You could tell everyone was having a great time because students all wanted to try multiple molds. I really enjoyed interacting with the other students and being able to work together and help one another.

It taught me a lot more about concrete and construction than I would have ever known before.  I learned a lot about the huge piles of sand we all see on the side of the freeway and how it’s used as part of construction materials. Also knowing how roads and buildings are made was very intriguing. I learned about cement trunks and how costly they are to use because you can expect to pay roughly $120 to $200 per cubic yard.

The workshop was even related to my Earth Science class because we made a mixture using different rocks, sand, and water. We also learned about the composition of many building materials. The class helped expose us students to a wide variety of career choices within the construction industry. I thought it was interesting to think about a career in construction for my future.

 Samantha Moses"

Download Samantha Moses' letter.

Diego Valley Charter School, Lakeside Campus

Written by Alyssa Burley.

On February 9, 2016, Project Cornerstone visited Diego Valley Charter School Lakeside campus. 

The class of fourteen high school students learned about the importance of local construction aggregates in their every day lives.

Students tested two types of sand (i.e., river and beach) to see which is best for making concrete, by performing a sieve (gradation) analysis.  Each student determined if their hypothesis was correct and graphed their results.  Students were also given a word problem where they had to figure out the cost of sand and transportation if one sand source was located 25 miles away and another 90 miles away.  They were shocked to see the drastic difference in cost based on the source's location.  At the end of the class, students mixed their own small batches of concrete using sand, gravel, recycled aggregate, cement, and water.  They poured their concrete mixtures into various molds.  Once the concrete was hard enough, they were able to take them home.


Photos by Alyssa Burley

Thank You Letters from Diego Valley Charter School

Written by Alyssa Burley.

On November 24, 2015, Project Cornerstone visited Diego Valley Charter School in El Cajon.  The high school students engaged in a lecture on construction aggregates, completed a sieve analysis, and made their own concrete projects. 

Here is what the school's faculty and administration had to say about the Project Cornerstone in-class activities:

"I was also vary pleased with the way that the seminar was aligned with our curriculum in both math and Earth science" wrote Michelle Mingo, Earth Science Teacher at Diego Charter School.  "Project Cornerstone delivered a truly remarkable experience for these students and provided an opportunity for the students to explore the construction industry and the potential career paths that it offers.  The students were so grateful for the experience and shared nothing but positive remarks...We sincerely appreciate this incredible opportunity and I look forward to being able to offer this seminar to my future students."

"With the majority of our students being "at-risk," it is crucial for us to offer this program as a part of the educational experience at our school because it provides a hands-on approach and real world applications," wrote Peter Alkatib, Community Liaison for Diego Valley Charter school.  "The ability of the seminar to include mathematics and scientific applications made it even more attractive to the students.  The seminar was so successful that the students did not want it to end....The students and staff are truly appreciative of the experience and the level of professionalism demonstrated by you and your team.  We're sincerely grateful for your contribution to the continued success of these students and are fortunate to have Project Cornerstone as a partner."

write-up and photos from the in-class activity.

In-Class Activities with Students from Diego Valley Charter School

Written by Alyssa Burley.

On Tuesday, November 24, 2015, Project Cornerstone's Crystal Howard and Alyssa Burley visited 18 juniors and seniors at Diego Valley Charter School in El Cajon, CA.

Students learned about the construction aggregates industry (i.e., sand, gravel and crushed stone) and how they are used to build roads, homes and schools in their community.

The in-class program begins with a lecture about the local construction aggregates industry and sand shortage.  Next, students complete a lab experiment where they analyze construction aggregate samples (one with river sand and another with beach sand) using a sieve.  After looking at the collected data, students determine which sand type is best for making concrete.  Students graph their data in a pie chart and solve a word problem.  Last, students make small batches of concrete and use silicone molds of owls, bees, trucks, cars, footballs and more to form their concrete.  Students are able to see the chemical reaction that transforms the concrete from a liquid into a solid.  Each student is able to take their concrete projects home as a souvenir.

Photos by Alyssa Burley.

Photos by Alyssa Burley.