STEAM: Building a Tiny House

Jennette Mullaney

How can a school best deliver STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) content through project-based learning? That’s the question three upper grades educators asked themselves while they brainstormed a remarkable project for their students: designing and building a “tiny house”—literally a house that cannot exceed 100 square feet—for the science nonprofit Black Rock Forest Consortium.

The students rose to the challenge, creating a 100-square foot house complete with plumbing and a compost toilet. The sustainable structure will serve as a residence for researchers. And the students gained far more than knowledge of trigonometry, biology and physics during the interdisciplinary project. “I think that’s one of the goals of this tiny house, to cut down on a lot of that excess and to make it so that we don’t use too much,” explained Jackson, a 10th-grader. “We’re really trying to conserve and be better citizens for our planet.”

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