Five Arlington High School (AHS) students are competing in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Showcase of Skills Homeless Shelter Project on March 27 in Olympia. Twenty-two teams of high school and college students will compete by building homeless shelters.
The students are part of the AHS two-period Construction Geometry class. Part of their time is spent learning the geometry of construction in the classroom; the other part of the time they’re out in the shop building the shelter and other structures like sheds, stairs and sawhorses. Once they complete the class, they receive a geometry credit and a CTE construction credit.
“Geometry skills translate very well to construction,” said Construction Teacher, Scott Striegel. “In addition, the students are learning how to build to code. Before we started on the shelter, they built a small balsa wood model of the building.”
The students are learning how to build a base, how to frame and roof a house and also how to install insulation, vinyl flooring, doors and windows on the 8 x 12 foot shelter. Once the shelter is complete, it will be partially disassembled and transported to Olympia. Each team received a $2,500 grant to pay for supplies.
“We’re learning some very useful and marketable skills in this class,” said 10th-grader Caden Smith.
Following the competition, the finished shelters will be transported to Seattle where they will provide transitional homeless housing.
“I love to see that the skills I’m learning in the classroom can be used to build a structure,” said ninth-grader Megan Scott. “Not only are we learning some great skills, we get to help others at the same time.”