Ian Milne loves his job as IDEA's construction and design teacher. Every summer during college, he built houses, working with and learning from a professional builder. “We built houses from the ground up. This guy taught me everything—I learned a ton and it was the most fun job I ever had.” Now Mr. Milne gets to use the education and experience he gained from teaching social studies and the building and gardening experience he gained on his own to teach students the basics of construction.
Mr. Milne's vision for his scholars is both expansive and practical. For example, they have built picnic tables, garden beds, birdhouses, little free libraries, bookshelves, and dog houses. He has taken scholars on field trips to Community Forklift, Casey Tree Farm, and active construction sites so they can better understand what construction entails and the careers available to them in that industry.
Construction classes follow the curriculum of NCCER, which provides credentialing standards for the construction industry. To earn NCCER certifications—and pass their classes—students must master performance tasks and take written tests.
When he’s not at school, Mr. Milne spends time with his four children and the 11 chickens his family keeps for the eggs. He is an avid gardener and his yard his filled with vegetables and flowers, in beds he constructed himself.