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No building slowdown for engineering students
They design their dream homes, within budget, as part of a Challenger K8 class.
By Paulette Lash Ritchie, Times Correspondent
Published March 13, 2008
SPRING HILL - When Kalli Hilyard's seventh- and eighth-grade Challenger K8 engineering students were assigned to design and build scale models of their dream homes, they let their imaginations run wild.
Many of the houses had pools, with one pool shaped like a golf club. Another pool was shaped like the continental United States.
Other houses clearly were designed by sports fans, including one that had a football field, one that had a basketball court and another with a go-cart track. Hilyard made sure she mentioned the need for reinforced steel to support one student's second-floor bowling alley.
She asked the students to keep the square footage from about 2,000 to 2,500 feet so they will have some sense of the average-sized home when they are faced with buying one in the not-so-distant future. They were allowed to make it larger with permission, but all the students had the same imaginary budget and had to stay within it.
The students were encouraged to be creative and had the option of choosing their own scales. Some of the houses were mini-sized at about 12 by 15 inches. Others were bigger, as large as 48 by 36 inches. The students used cardboard and balsa wood. Some had paper roofs. Others used shingles.
More than one house was furnished with paper, clay or doll furniture, while others were unfurnished. "I pretty much left that up to creative minds," Hilyard said.
All the homes had to be landscaped. Some students used their grandmother's silk flowers. Others made their bushes and trees with cotton balls and cotton-tipped swabs. Variously colored pipe cleaners were another option.
The finished models were displayed in the school's large, open mall area, on display for other students. Hilyard seemed impressed with what her students had done. "Pretty cool for middle school kids," she said.