Chicken coops are our next challenge. Yes, I said chicken coops! For our next project in MSEL Engineering class, we will build coops working together in small teams of three or four students. Not only that, but our groups are competing with each other to see which group will design and build the best chicken coop. The competition will make this project even harder, but it will spice up the class.

Let me start with a description of the project. Each group has received a list of the required specifications for the chicken coops, for example height, minimum number of doors and windows, and distance above the ground. Each group is creating a design for their own coop. After designing it, we get the materials and then start building. When the coops are finished, we hope to find some people who will want to buy them and use them.

We started this class making a spoon out of a solid block of wood, which for me took a long time and was very hard. (The spoons weren’t even that big!) And then here comes Ms. O (a.k.a Ms. Oropallo) with the next project, which is much bigger – a chicken coop! For this project our class is took a field trip to two recycling yards, The Away Station in Fairfax and Urban Ore in Berkeley, to gather some materials for our coops. Each group has a budget of $100 to spend, but the little twist is that we have to use every bit of every item that we buy. If we don’t use all of the material, we will lose points on our project. That is a challenge. Good luck to all the groups on that.

“It is not the beauty of a building you should look at,
it’s the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time.” –
David Allan Coe.

As we start our designing, we will try to be creative, but we also want to create something that will last. The quote above from David Allan Coe is really important to remember in the process of building our coops. We all want to design a good looking coop but it is equally important to have a great foundation and strong structure. On this note good luck to everyone and can’t wait to see how they turn out.

by Merone Eckert and Mia Stein (11th grade)

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