Iowa high school shop class tasks students with designing, building a sim home

Updated Oct 19, 2015

shutterstock_103572131Students in a Sioux City, Iowa, shop class are learning more than just the traditional woodworking techniques most high schoolers are taught.

According to a report from the Sioux City Journal, Students in the Intro to Construction, Construction I and Advanced Construction classes are building a modular simulation home from the ground up.

The students will not only build the structure of the the 10-foot-by-12 foot frame, but also include features such as plumbing, electricity, windows, siding and floors. Curtains, cabinets and exterior masonry will also be added, the paper reports.

Instructor Joe Krajicek says the students in each class even added their input on the blueprint of the structure which brought both math and critical thinking lessons into the project. “We started looking at ways we could prepare our kids and started thinking about what we could do that would be more realistic,” he said.

The project teaches construction abilities and ties in housekeeping procedures that will prepare students for a future life as a homeowner, even if they aren’t interested in a construction career, the Krajicek told the paper.

Student Carlos Garcia said he plans to enter the carpentry field after high school and feels very fortunate to gain real world experience that will allow him to enter his career with experience.

Krajicek is more interested in the students showing him what they can do rather than just knowing how to do it. The students are evaluated on their work similar to how a foreman would analyze his employees, taking both team and individual performance into account.

“As they go, I see the mistakes they make, but I don’t bring it up,” he said. “The goal is … when you screw something up and you have to spend your whole day fixing it, you aren’t going to make that mistake again,” says Krajicek.

The program may expand to a larger project in the future.