Cienega High students pull together to build tiny house for teachers

Cienega High students pull together to build tiny house for teachers

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Many of us have found ourselves sitting in a classroom, thinking “I’m never going to use this in real life.”

In some classes, that isn’t true.

A construction class at Cienega High falls into the latter.

High school kids are consistently always hit with new challenges.

“Not everybody is going to choose to go into the construction field, but they’re probably going to live under a roof," said Michael Keck, a construction teacher at Cienega High.

Each day, Keck teaches students skills they can use in real life. Consider it a different type of ‘homework.

“Kids are able to do things for themselves," Keck said.

For sophomore Rylie Aldrich, her construction class sparked conversation.

“It gives me things to bond about and talk about with my dad,” Aldrich explained. She’s one of a few girls in a class filled with mostly boys."Not a lot of people take this class, and people are shocked when I tell them I’m in this class."

That, she said, pushes her limits.

“At first I was afraid to go up on the scaffolds and now I’ll do it," she said “I don’t want to be looked at as ‘oh you can’t do it. ' I can do the same jobs as guys can.”

Together Aldrich and her classmates work on various projects in class, like benches for a nearby grade school. Each task is a lesson, but these students learn about more than just physical things.

“Showing that we all can come together and give someone who needs help that help," she said.

For Aldrich and her fellow classmates, that someone is a teacher.

The class has been giving back in a big way by making something small. They’ve been creating a tiny home, in order to make a dent in the lack of affordable housing for teachers nearby.

“Around here, there aren’t many options for apartments for teachers to move into," Keck said. “For a lot of teachers, it’s a 45-minute commute.”

The tiny village in Vail currently has two tiny homes, but after everything is done, it can fit 28.

In the classroom, Keck has his students working on everything from electrical to painting to hopefully create two or three of these homes a year.

Keck’s class is where students like Aldrich, who hopes to own her own business, can see their work come to life.

“I can fix my own things in my own house. I don’t need to hire a handyman," Aldrich said. "I can do it on my own.”

Drilled and instilled in each student is this, the excuse “I will never use this is real life” just doesn’t fly in this district.

Keck’s students have been working on this tiny home since spring break. The entire project is expected to take a few months to complete.

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