This is the second year of The Daniel Academy’s Engineering Practicum. Every week twelve high schoolers and four high school teachers meet to discuss and implement improvements for/in the school.
Our first and current project is to better insulate one of the poorly insulated wings of our school- especially a classroom at the end of the hall that is used as an Art classroom. It is almost always freezing cold because of very little, ineffective insulation. We have not started constructing anything yet, but we have conducted research and gathered a lot of data. It is our hope to start constructing and installing various types of insulation soon. Condensation build up in this wing of the school is another problem that we, as a class, have addressed and are trying to fix. We have been putting foam insulation on the outside of some of the I-beams that are gathering a lot of water as a necessary temporary fix and are researching more permanent, aesthetic solutions that we can put up in the future.
In addition to this main project, we have also played around with smaller, ‘just-for-fun’ projects. Early in the year, the class separated into groups of four and created an insulated dog house with a $12 cost limit, and last week we designed catapults out of popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and glue. These little activities are great introductions to our bigger projects, and also allow us to have fun learning with our peers.