Trade Up

What is Trade Up?

  • Trade Up is a manual arts program designed to introduce high school students to the world of green construction.  Teens will receive an up-close introduction to carpentry, electrical, air sealing, plumbing, and green construction.  Seniors will have the opportunity to participate in the construction of a small house in the BTC Makerspace.   At the end of the program, the seniors who show the most promise and drive will earn paid summer internships with a local green contractor.  Other committed teens (including underclassmen) can earn a summer job working for the BTC landscaping company Youthscapers.


What is the goal of Trade Up?

  • Trade Up’s vision is to introduce interested high school students to the world of green construction.  This opportunity will provide exposure and basic construction skills for students with an aptitude and interest in working with their hands who do not currently have an outlet for exploring and growing those interests.  Trade Up not only exposes teens to the world of green construction, but it also connects them with local green contractors interested in hiring young people.

Who is eligible to participate?

  • All Brookline High School students are eligible to participate in the one day workshops on topics including: electrical, plumbing, air sealing, a passive house tour, and a construction job site tour. The house build and summer internships are open only to seniors.  Due to the regulations regarding employing minors on job sites, Trade Up is not able to offer summer internships to underclassmen.


What is the 2018 schedule for Trade Up?

  • 3/24/18 – Saturday – 9:00AM – Tour a green construction site (open to underclassmen)
  • 4/7/18 – Saturday – time tbd – Visit passive house (open to underclassmen)
  • 4/12/18 – Thursday – 10:30-12:30 PM – BHS job fair where Trade Up will table
  • 4/28/18 – Saturday – 9:00-4:00 PM – House build day 1
  • 5/5/18 – Saturday – 9:00-4:00 PM – House build day 2
  • 5/12/18 – Saturday – 9:00-4:00 PM – House build day 3
  • 5/19/18 – Saturday – 9:00-4:00 PM – House build day 4
  • 6/9/18 – Saturday – time tbd – Plumbing or electrical workshop (open to underclassmen)
  • 6/16/18 – Saturday – time tbd – Electrical or plumbing workshop (open to underclassmen)
  • 6/25/18-8/31/18 – Summer internships

How many students can participate?

  • The one day workshops will vary in size from 6 to 20 students.  Priority will be given to upperclassmen.  The house build in April and May can accommodate up to 10 seniors.  The number of paid summer internships will vary dependent upon qualified students and contractor availability.


Who is overseeing Trade Up?

  • Trade Up is a collaborative effort organized by BHS faculty (Elon Fischer, Brendan McCarthy, Kate Cordner), the Brookline Teen Center, Climate Action Brookline, and a number of local green contractors led by Paul Eldrenkamp of Byggmeister.  If you have questions or want to become involved, please email