It’s the ultimate in experiential learning. Students from Tagwi Secondary School and Rothwell-Osnabruck School recently completed the 2012 House Building Project, having finished work on their second home of the year.
The 19 students learned the building trades in the most practical way possible, by helping to build a 1400-square-foot, three-bedroom home in St. Andrews, north of Cornwall.
Working under the guidance of staff from DeSaulniers Construction, students handled a variety of tasks from installing the foundation to putting in windows.
“It’s live, hands-on learning with a really big visual aid,” said Tagwi Construction Technology Teacher Jamie Poulin, with a laugh. “This is the best rubric they will ever see. And if it doesn’t work well, they take it apart and do it again until it’s right.”
Working under the guidance of certified contractors, the students completed all the framing for the project, built the deck, installed the siding, soffit and fascia, and hung the drywall.
They were also able to witness installation of the plumbing, the electrical wiring, and the heating system – which must be installed by licensed contractors.
Poulin said the project was one of the best he has been involved in during the last five years.
The student crew worked extremely well on site. He also credited the organizational skill of DeSaulniers staff members who helped keep the project on track.
Needed supplies were delivered on time for the students, meaning there was little downtime and the project went as planned. Students said they enjoyed the program because it provided practical, hands-on training allowing them to do the work real professionals perform on a job site.