Boze Elementary School Students Make Plans to Build Tiny Home Shelters

Fourth-grade students at Boze Elementary plan to provide tiny home shelter designs to contractors after months of exploring the natural disaster relief process. The students were driven by the question, How can we design and build a shelter for someone who has experienced a natural disaster?

Casey Broom, Human Services Program Supervisor at Washington Emergency Management Division, recently visited the classrooms to discuss with students the process to ensure families a proper shelter after a natural disaster.  

“How would you build your tiny home to defend against a wildfire?” Broom asked the class. “Cut down trees for a 20-mile radius!” exclaimed a student. “Yes!” Broom responded. “We call that defensible space. You would only have to remove shrubs and trees for about 100 feet though, not 20 miles!”

“Our students are full of compassion and want to pair that with their learning around natural disasters.”

ANN BALALA, INSTRUCTIONAL COACH
BOZE ELEMENTARY

Not too long ago, TAF’s high school students built a tiny home shelter for the homeless which is currently being used in North Seattle. Now, our elementary students are exploring the same solution, but through the lens of homelessness as a result of a natural disaster. “Our students are full of compassion and want to pair that with their learning around natural disasters,” Ann Balala, the school’s Instructional Coach shared about the students. “Their sense of caring helps drive their engagement and learning for this project!”

Casey Broom, Human Services Program Supervisor at Washington Emergency Management Division provides Boze students with information about natural disaster relief.
Fourth-grade students listen to expert Casey Broom.

The shelter the students are designing is an extension based on the knowledge gained during their last unit of about various natural disasters and from volunteer experts like Broom who have lent their time to the 4th-grade classroom to teach workshops. The class is now in the final stages of their project, building a tiny home model they will present to contractors in hopes their designs will be adapted to serve the neighboring community should disaster strike.

Boze’s 4th-grade class looks forward to sharing their plans with professionals like Broom in the near future.

TAF’s School Transformation program partners with public schools and districts that serve underrepresented communities to provide access to equitable STEM education, industry connections, and student and teacher empowerment. Learn more.

Want to provide expert advice for our students? Contact development@techaccess.org to become a volunteer.

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