On Thursday, January 30, we’ll be doing our first “Lens into the Classroom.”
The idea of these sessions is to look at a real teacher’s classroom dilemma and to assemble a group of other folks to go through a tuning protocol about this, which will them be “fishbowled” through a Google Hangout. (The idea is to let a larger group watch the session and brainstorm their own ideas. We hope that this will inspire others to try using a protocol like this at their own sites. As we progress with DLMOOC, you might even want to do this yourself online via a hangout.)
The teacher for this week is Brandon Cohen, a 12th grade Environmental Science teacher from High Tech High. Below is a description of his dilemma and some background on the project.
HTH Tiny House Project Tuning – Focusing on Student Work
Brandon Cohen – 12th grade Environmental Science – bcohen AT hightechhigh DOT org
If I were to attempt this project again, what kind of student work would better enable me to see student understanding of the environmental content while not taking attention and resources away from the large final product?
The Tiny House Project, spanning two semesters, addressed the environmental issues stemming from common modes of consumption in the typical Californian home by designing and building a 100 square foot, fully functioning home that demonstrates how to lessen our impact through simple, smart living and alternative, green building materials.
Spring 2013 – Collaboration between Environmental Science & Multimedia (Maria McTighe, teacher)
Fall 2013 – Collaboration between Environmental Science & Engineering (David Berggren, teacher)
Project Was Exhibited:
- San Diego County Fair, June 8 – July 4, 2013 (Awarded Best of Show)
- San Diego Maker Faire, December 7, 2013 (Limited to exhibition of placards)
- HTH Schoolwide Exhibition, December 19, 2013
- San Diego Earth Fair, April 26, 2014
Process and Assignments:
Home Consumption Study – Students gather data and calculate the consumption of natural gas, electricity, water, and gasoline from each appliance and fixture in the home through unit conversion calculations.
Home Trash Study – Students classify and weigh trash by category (recyclable, compostable, and landfill-bound)
Tiny House Design – Students research and share existing, alternative housing options, propose solutions to incorporate in the Tiny House, and design their own Tiny House in SketchUp. Then, the class votes on the design that best addresses our issues.
Solicitation of Donations – Students are divided into groups based on the 14 different systems or parts of the house. After learning how to write a professional email and place a professional cold call, students step outside their comfort zone by seeking donations from local vendors and national manufacturers
Construction – Students construct the Tiny House under supervision of the teachers and, at times, a licensed general contractor.
Tiny House System Placards – Following research and design, each student creates an 8” x 10” informational placard that highlights their group’s system and how it compares to a that of a traditional home