Independent Senior Projects
Project Tiny House
I sat down and spent a little time working with Max Horton, David Doan, and Avry Truex to learn about their ISP. The trio is building a tiny house to donate to a veteran, something that Max has been hoping to do since he was in seventh grade. Avry decided to join the project because it was “work worth doing,” and he wanted to make a difference in someone’s life. David joined the project with a similar reason to Max; he has always wanted to build his own house and, although the house is not for him, he is still proud to be doing the work for such a good cause. As might be expected when building a tiny house with three somewhat inexperienced high school students, there have been a few bumps in the road so far. The biggest so far has been the rain, and when you are working with wood, something that Avry expressed strong interest in, rain can slow down the process quite a bit. Inclement weather has not been the only problem the builders have faced; on the first day of work they spent more than two hours trying to level the trailer so that the house would rest on it properly. It may not have been their finest moment on the project, but once they had completed that task they felt ready to tackle other challenges that would come their way. In only four days of work the group has faced a few unforeseen problems like not having enough material, pieces not fitting just right, and other minor details that could derail the entire project. But with each day the group is becoming more confident in their work and each other, saying that they can always depend on one another to get their job done. They hope to be better prepared for any more problems that may come up so they can work around the issue and keep moving forward. But most of all they just want the rain to stop!
In the hour or so that I spent working with the group, I realized just how hard their task is. They are three high school seniors who have little construction experience and are tasking themselves with building a house--not a full one at least, but the task still seems daunting. Every single detail needs to be precise, every piece of wood cut perfectly, holes drilled into the right spot; and if even one of these tiny details is wrong, it could mean going back to square one. As nervous as I was that something was going to go wrong, the three remained calm and composed, relying on each other to know what they are doing and trusting that they are all doing it correctly. Trust is the most important part of this project; trusting each other to do their work, do it correctly, and trusting the months of drawing, measuring, and building models to know that in the end someone will have a new home to live in.
Located in Manchester, NH, The Derryfield School is a private day school for grades 6-12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.