The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) recognized Clovis High School’s (CHS) building trades internship class for its work on an American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant tiny home.
Guiding the students through the project was John Eichmann, a 13-year career tech instructor with the Clovis Unified School District (CUSD).
The NAWIC tasked the students with building a 12 ft by 40 ft virtual tiny home equipped with ADA-compliant appliances. The project spanned two weeks, with students working during and outside of class time.
“I think some of them [the students] were a little bit surprised at how well the project ended up coming out,” Eichmann said. “It’s a fabulous project. I mean, they put a lot into it.”
Around 15 students worked on the project.
Lilli Weimer, a senior at CHS, was the project lead, with her main objective being to design the floor plans for the tiny home. She also approved the ADA-compliant appliances for the home and narrated the video tour.
The project was the first that Weimer has worked on, but she enjoyed the challenge and had fun in the process.
“It [tiny home] was my first project because I am completely new to construction,” Weimer said. “It was my first big project, and it’s definitely exciting to do.”
Weimer says that given how much effort her team put into the project, the recognition they received was satisfying.
“To be recognized so much was exciting,” Weimer said. “I feel like all our work really paid off because it was a collaborative effort.”
Additionally, the project received praise from the CUSD Governing Board and the Clovis City Council.
Although the tiny home project was completed virtually, in the past, students enrolled in the CHS four-year construction careers pathway program have gained hands-on experience.
Last year, Eichmann and his students completed an unfinished tiny home trailer to help evacuees who the historic Creek Fire displaced.
Eichmann says that the program’s goal is to provide applicable education. Doing so allows students to gain experiences ranging from hands-on building to more specialized aspects like architecture and engineering.
“Students may have an interest in something construction-related or just an interest in doing things with their hands,” Eichmann said. “So we try to give them a very diverse exposure.”
The program also arranges internships for the students and prepares them for both construction-based careers and post-secondary education.
Eichmann says that projects like the NAWIC tiny home allow students to experience all aspects of general education. He says that students learned English language arts, mathematics, artistry, research, and citizenship in this project.
“Career Tech is that place where we can take the general education theory that they may learn in English, math and other places, and we can put it to real-world practical projects,” Eichmann said.
The video tour of the tiny home can be seen on Eichmann’s YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnEGgVP0glTEePnh83Syosw.