TAF Academy students will build homes for the homeless

On March 27th, 2017, a group of our TAF Academy high school students will travel to Olympia, Washington to compete against other Career and Technical Education (CTE) students in the 2017 CTE Showcase of Skills. This one-day competition, however, is unlike most you hear about. It isn’t a presentation of research or a mock up of a prototype. This competition will end up putting twenty-five new homes into a Washington city, all to benefit the homeless community.

The competition, coordinated by Washington’s Workforce Board, is open to twenty-five teams from Washington state high schools, colleges, and skill centers. Each team will be tasked with building a portable, energy efficient homeless shelter or as the challenge calls them, tiny homes.

Our TAF Academy students are ready for the task. Under the leadership of engineering instructor Gabriel Diaz, students have already been studying sustainable energy and creating their own mini-cities that take into account key elements of the upcoming challenge. In fact, Diaz pushes his students to design buildings for multi-purpose usage, with cost of materials and efficiency being just as important as the design itself.

The cost of taking the team of TAF Academy students is no small fee. Luckily, this past Thursday, the school was awarded a Carl Perkins Reserve Grant in the amount of $2,500 to help cover the costs associated with participating.

We’re all excited about what our students are doing. “This experience of joining together with a larger community in service of others will prove to be one that our students will not only engage in meaningful learning, but also enjoy and have fun,” TAF Academy principal Pam Tuggle says. “It will give them a great sense of accomplishment.”

If you or someone you know is interested in providing additional support to TAF Academy for this unique tiny home challenge, please contact TAF Education Director, Chris Alejano, at chrisa@techaccess.org.

We’re looking forward to seeing what our students will do knowing they have TAF, TAF Academy, and the Federal Way Public Schools community backing them!

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