Today we took an AP edition (Assets and Possibilities) in all the core classes. We used the same theme for each class : “What would be needed for social distancing”. Instead of using words that may lead to a negative and fearful perspective, we instead changed “Social Distancing” to “Living in a cabin, surrounded by nature”.
I didn’t know the students would be so literal, but they wanted to jump into the challenge and get to constructing. First order of business was to look at our assets (scavenged material from demolition jobs) and then sized them up to a possible cabin.
Normally Sydney likes to sketch out a project before building, but since we were using rubbish for our build, she sought out a different method. She decided to pace off lengths of material and go from there. Roofing was her main concern, she had 20’ of metal roofing. With the 20’ measurement, she drew an outline of what would be best. An enclosed structure with a covered porch.
Owen looked through his choices of scavenged material for siding. He wanted this to be practical not only in this situation, but also in an apocalyptic situation, where only current housing materials could be sought. He selected composite decking for the floor, and pvc beadboard for the walls.
I asked if the project had enough of a challenge for them, or if they needed something else in the mix. Sydney said it wasn’t challenging enough. She said she wanted to build like the Amish.
With the new challenge accepted, we rolled up all corded tools and put them away. From this point on, it was totally off the grid building. Like the Amish, we only used Dewalt’s new lineup of cordless tools, including circular saw with laser sight, hammer drill, impact gun, sawzall, jigsaw, mitresaw, and oscillator.
The kids did great in adverse weather conditions. Putting a roof on when it’s raining is never an easy task. Sydney and Owen took the weather in stride, completing the cabin before they lost daylight. It was a bit chilly in the atmosphere we were building in, but Owen was resourceful and rectified the situation with a few swipes on the thermostat.
All in all, it was a fantastic class. Tonight, their reading assignment is “The Way Things Work” in advance of setting up rigging to hoist and move the cabin to nature.
Ketchup the pup has some pretty sweet digs, even if it was all made from secondhand material.
Sydney’s thought: “Its beautiful! How do we move it?”
Owen’s thought: “I want to get a pillow and snuggle Ketchup on the porch”