Tiny Homes

High School Students Learn to Build Their Future

When 15 Ponderosa High School students in Sean Patrick's Construction Technology class started building a tiny house last September, they were constructing more than a wooden structure: The Ben Lomond students were also learning to create their own future. That's because they are learning real-world lessons that provide them with the knowledge and hands-on skills needed for future employment in the construction industry. The tiny home's exterior is nearly done, and students will continue to work on the interior electrical, plumbing, cabinetry and finish carpentry through the remainder of the year. Because of this work-based learning project, students with no previous knowledge of building or using power tools have gained a vast array of skills that will truly have them "workforce ready," says Patrick, an instructor in the Career Technical Education Partnership/Alternative Ed program.

The project is the first of its kind for the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, but it won't be the last: The finished house is to be auctioned off, with proceeds reinvested into the program and future builds. Funding for the project is being provided by the Santa Cruz County Office of Education.

Note: The Santa Cruz County Office of Education is a sponsor of Monterey Bay Career Connect. Other organizations interested in becoming sponsors can contact MBEP Program Manager Hayley Mears.