One tiny house project for 100 students, One giant step for a Sustainable Future

3DuxDesign was thrilled to be a part of Capital Prep Harbor’s “biggest STEM event in history!”  The entire 5th and 6th grade, a total of 100 students participated in our Tiny House Challenge. Over 20 teams worked to design a sustainable house for a family of 3 and a pet in under 150 square feet! The materials for this challenge included only 3Dux connectors, recycled cardboard and other recycled products from around school and students' homes.

tiny house geometry challenge elementary school The students had a terrific experience but this event wasn’t all fun and games. Our young architects needed to use their geometry skills to calculate area, perimeter and volume of their model homes. They also learned about scale, using a 1" : 1' ratio for their projects. They had to use design thinking and their creativity to come up with an interior layout that was both aesthetic and supported all of the families’ needs. 

affordable tiny house stem challenge for elementary school

 The kids did so well with this activity that we decided to make things a little more interesting. We then asked the students to calculate the cost of their homes based on the price per square foot of interior and exterior walls, roof and floor.  They also needed to calculate the cost of furniture and appliances. The kids did an incredible job making sure that their homes fit the criteria but also thinking about the family using the space, what would make them comfortable, safe and happy within a budget. Here are some highlights…

calculating geometry for a tiny house, 4th 5th grade design challenge This group focused on vertical space, using the 1/2 height loft for the baby. This design was clearly done before the 2019 WHO recommendations for no screen time for infants because they put a giant screen TV in the baby’s room. The parents' room is located directly under the loft.

tiny house with loft challenge for elementary schoolThis team focused on the comforts of home and actually hand sewed the felt pillows on their innovative Murphy-style bed. The bed pillows have a dual function as sofa cushions, a brilliant space-saving idea. We also noticed a windmill in this house for a sustainable energy source.

environmental study lesson in elementary school

The smiling faces above show how much fun these kids had but the image below is just one example of all of the hard work went went into this project. They learned about different viewpoints and how to sketch a layout from the aerial view, a skill that is used by artists, architects, engineers and designers.  Lots of ideation, design, and calculation went into the final product.

floor plan for tiny home STEAM project in elementary school

Innovation and creativity is what 3Dux is all about. We were amazed and delighted when we saw that this team decided to use some recycled dental floss containers for their toilet and sink. This team also got an A++ for design. Animals and plants (to minimize greenhouse effect) adorned the yard, Delicate curtains,  plush pillows and the lighting really made this home shine. Every part of this tiny house was just beautiful, and these girls were so proud to share. 

creativity and design thinking in the classroomThis project was more than just fun, geometry and the most awesome STEM party in history. Kids learned about how using these skills can be applied to real life situations, how their their ideas and efforts can be used to make life better for someone else. That is the heart of human-centered design thinking and about what 3DuxDesign’s mission is all about.  Through the design process, they even learned something about themselves, and how their actions are seen by others. We were touched by this note a student wrote to his teacher. That’s pretty great insight for a 4th grader and an insipiring moment for the Capitol Prep Harbor Educators! design thinking and empathy in the classroom

 Teamwork is huge! This group found that by collaborating, the end result is even greater than to sum of the parts. The team building aspect of this activity persisted even after the homes were presented. 

collaboration and team building in stem lesson for k5 This school is in the heart of Bridgeport Ct, just a few blocks away from the 3Dux Factory. The kids were excited and inspired to learn about the teen inventors that created 3DuxDesign. We were thankful for the help from Scott Wojnarowicz, Capital Preparatory Harbor Lower School Academic Dean and Mathematics Lead, who helped us write the Tiny House curriculum.  We were all grateful to the folks at Georgia Pacific Corrugated whose support helped us provide materials for this project.  GP even created some special edition (tiny house-scaled) cardboard sheets for the kids to play with after the presentations were complete. 

 

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