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Auburn High School students building a tiny house

November 18, 2018

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Tiny houses have been trending for some time, and Auburn High School students have an educational opportunity to build a small, mobile home of their own.

“I just started this program last year as a part-time teacher, so it was the inaugural year of our construction program,” building construction teacher Jessica Bowlin said. “We built a shed, and we kind of wanted to take it one step further. We’re knocking out three-classes’ curriculum with one project, and hopefully, we sell it to recoup the cost for the next one.”

All funding for the project pays for the materials gathered for the house, and some businesses have donated building supplies for the students interested in learning trade skills and gaining useful knowledge of the science.

“Masterbrand donated a lot of trim for us,” Bowlin said. “We’re still reaching out to contractors and suppliers for some other specialty items; but most of it, we’re just buying here locally.”

Bowlin has expectations to continually provide educational builds for students annually, but she is primarily focused on the project at hand.

“I think it will be more exciting once the weather gives us a little more of a bigger break,” she said. “We can get walls up and going vertical, but once we get the walls built, we’ll get a little bit more fuel in our engine and excitement from the boys.”

STUDENT THOUGHTS

The 11th grade students taking the course expressed enjoyment for construction, the history behind their interest and plans for the future.

“It’s something that my family’s done,” Tatum Benefield said. “I’ve just grown up doing construction, so it’s sort of like a passion.”

Colson Rabren has family members with construction expertise that instilled his passion for the science as well, but Jacob Voyles just wanted to learn a practical skill.

“I just wanted to learn how to build something,” Voyles said. “I didn’t even plan on going into construction. I have a whole wood shop at my house, and this class has helped me learn how to use certain tools I had no idea how to work.”

APPLICATION FOR THE REAL WORLD

Many of these students have aspirations to enroll in college, and this course has the tools, instruction and curriculum needed to prepare for higher education and the workforce.

“That’s one of the things at Auburn High that we are working on,” said Auburn City Schools spokesman Daniel Chesser. “There are situations where a student can graduate in high school — say in welding — and go straight to work... So we are really trying to be a comprehensive high school.”

Auburn High attempts to cater to all interests; especially, programs not offered at other schools.

“You learn a lot,” Benefield said. “I thought before I went in that I’ve doing it all my life. I knew a bunch of stuff, but once I got in, there was so much more stuff. It’s a really good program and experience.”

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Information from: Opelika-Auburn News, http://www.oanow.com/

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