Bluewater District School Board

Bluewater's ICE Day Tiny House Challenge page

ICE Day Tiny House Challenge

ICE Day Tiny House Challenge
Posted on 05/18/2023
House replica made out of Lego pieces and wooden popsicle sticks sits atop draft design of prototypeBluewater District School Board (BWDSB) secondary students enrolled in Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) programs for Construction, Manufacturing, Transportation, Agriculture, and Hospitality and Tourism recently had a chance to learn about the tiny house movement.

A day of Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship (ICE) at Georgian College in Owen Sound on Tuesday, May 9 included a challenge whereby students collaborated to design a tiny house prototype and a community garden, to be part of our local community and address the inequities of housing in Grey and Bruce counties.

The day kicked off with opening remarks from Bluewater District School Board Pathways Administrator Kim Harbinson, who talked about the goals for the event and shared some background on the concept of tiny houses.  A welcome to all students and staff was then provided by Dave Shorey, Executive Director of Georgian College’s Owen Sound Campus, who also shared details on skilled trades related programming and apprenticeship opportunities.

Expert guest speaker and millennial entrepreneur, Bianca Metz of The Giving Tree Consulting, spoke to attendees about her experience living in a tiny house, and how this model of dwelling can address housing inequities in our communities.  Bianca’s advocacy for the tiny house movement has caught the attention of Grey County through local recognition of the possibilities and potential that exist in promoting ‘living small’ in its planning department.  The presentation focused on the many aspects that must be considered when constructing a tiny house, including policy requirements, different types of homes and their associated certifications, rural versus urban living, and building code requirements.  The advantages of tiny houses as an affordable living solution and viable option for local eco-tourism were also discussed.

Bluewater District School Board Clinical Manager Katie Simpson addressed the students from a mental health lens, and introduced a special guest, who shared her personal housing experience and the current systems that make access difficult for many individuals.  Despite the obstacles she faced, her message was one of hope and determination, and a call to action.  "If you can do anything to help someone, push the button."

Among the community partners in attendance was Habit for Humanity.  A presentation from Lisa Campbell spoke to the ongoing need for housing solutions to help individuals facing financial challenges build a better life for themselves and their children.  Details were shared on Habitat’s build and Critical Home Repair programs, volunteer work, home builds for Indigenous peoples, youth engagement, and partnerships with school boards.

Following the presentations, SHSM groups split into breakout sessions to discuss challenges in their respective industries.  Agriculture and Hospitality and Tourism students created blueprints for a community garden and café menu supported by Canadian Mental Health Association Grey Bruce and Tajalli Barfoot from BWDSB.  Construction students made tiny house replicas, to scale, supported by retired construction teacher, Bud Halpin.  Manufacturing and Transportation students worked with Dave Kuhl, owner of Kuhl Machine Shop, to gain knowledge on manufacturing a trailer to pull the tiny house, and students used Lego to build a model.

Student designs were required to consider the end user (e.g., one or two users, retirees, etc.), the utilization of all spaces, utilities (e.g., municipal services, septic, hydro, etc.), whether the facility would be on or off-grid, zoning, permits, and costs. 

To wrap up the day, student groups presented their top scoring projects in front of an enthusiastic and inspired audience.

House replica made with Lego and wooden popsicle sticks sits atop draft design of prototypeStudent draft design of prototypeTrailer made with Lego sits atop draft design of prototypeTrailer made with Lego sits next to draft design of prototypeStudents put their prototype design on large sheet of paperStudents put their prototype design on large sheet of paperStudents put their prototype design on large sheet of paperPlastic bin filled with Lego piecesStudents work at table with Lego pieces and prototype design sheetsStudent works on their prototype designStudent works at table with prototype design and Lego piecesStudent works at table with prototype designCommunity partner addresses student audience in gymnasiumCommunity partner instructs at black board with tiny house instructions on slide in classroomOpening remarks at podium by Kim Harbinson, BWDSBOpening remarks at podium by Dave Shorey, Georgian CollegeGuest speaker Bianca Metz, The Giving Tree Consulting, presents at podiumGroup photo of (L-R) Bianca Metz, guest speaker on housing, Lisa Campbell of Habitat for HumanityNew SHSM/BWDSB banner sign on 'sector-partnered experience' with skilled trades related photos and board vision statement at bottom, "Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow"New SHSM/BWDSB banner sign on 'Innovation, Creativity, Entrepreneurship' with skilled trades related photos
Bluewater District School Board is located on the traditional land of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, which is represented by the communities of Saugeen First Nation and Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation.
Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2024 SchoolMessenger Corporation. All rights reserved.