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Durham District School Board
Ignite Learning
Two Oshawa Schools Build Model Homes for Humanity

Forest View PS and Village Union PS students participate in a skilled trades project

L-R: Village Union PS teacher Scott Clenchy and Forest View PS teacher Rob Hendy
L-R: Village Union PS teacher Scott Clenchy and Forest View PS teacher Rob Hendy organized a hands-on design project for Grade 7 and 8
students at their schools.

"They're participating in a real-life application of trade skills," says Scott Clenchy, teacher at Village Union Public School in Oshawa.

Clenchy and Rob Hendy, a teacher at Forest View Public School, teamed up with Habitat for Humanity Durham to create the Designing for Humanity project. Grade 7 and 8 students from both schools designed and built model homes according to their assigned (made-up) client. Each client had different needs and wants for their dream home.

Students used the website www.floorplanner.com to design two and three-dimensional model homes on their Chromebooks. Next, they used scrap wood to build the physical structure of the miniature models.

The scrap wood was sourced and gathered through the app Varage Sale from local community members. Hendy adds, "People were extremely giving and helpful with this project, even donating levels, saws, clamps, and other tools. With everything donated, and support from the Board (receiving tools from a professional development session), the cost of the entire project for both schools was around $20 to $30 in glue and nails. That's it!"

Students Ethan, Kennedy, and Skyler designed a model home that included a home office, three bedrooms, and two bathrooms.
L-R: Forest View PS students Ethan, Kennedy, and Skyler designed a model home that included a home office, three bedrooms, and two bathrooms.

"The last house they [Habitat for Humanity Durham] built belongs to a family that attends Village Union PS," explains Hendy. "They've built tons of houses in the Oshawa community, and we want students to see that community link."

Warren Piat, a representative from Habitat for Humanity Durham, stopped by to examine the model homes. "In each model I'm looking for proper livability for the clients, but mainly I'm here to see how passionate the kids are about designing and building the models."

Forest View PS students Skyler, Ethan, and Kennedy were tasked with creating a model that would include a home office, three bedrooms, and two bathrooms, with a maximum size of 310 square meters. Their model met all of the client's needs and came to 101.1 square meters in total.

L-R: Village Union PS students Chelsea & Yezzah share their model home at the Designing for Humanity presentation at Forest View
L-R: Village Union PS students Chelsea and
Yezzah share their model home at the
Designing for Humanity presentation at
Forest View PS in Oshawa.

Skyler and Kennedy, who are both in Grade 8, said because of this project they are interested in taking the Exploring Technologies: Women in the Trades course in high school.

Skyler adds, "Working with my hands just comes naturally to me." 



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Durham District School Board
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L1R 2K6 Canada

Phone: 905-666-5500
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© Durham District School Board, 2013