Last week, our class walked in and was surprised by a spontaneous, timed project that we had to complete. We had only an hour to construct a specific structure made of angle cuts and straight cuts, held together by screws put in perpendicular to the wood. We followed a model put together by Ms. Orapollo. The angle cuts and screws proved to be a challenge for some people, but in the end, we all finished. This little exercise that we had to complete seemed to be a huge challenge at first, but it was only to prepare us for our next project.
In the past week, we have started building our chicken coops. In the past couple of months we took a trip to Urban Ore in Berkeley, and the Away Station in Fairfax to gather various materials. We also got a generous wood donation that arrived just a few days ago. Each group, consisting of three to four students, now has all the necessary materials. In the last two class periods, we designed and began constructing the floors of our coops. There are several groups, and each one has a completely different and creative idea. One group’s floor is shaped like a hexagon. Another has a hole in the bottom, with a latch that will cover the hole at night, where the chickens will be able to enter and exit throughout the day. The uniqueness of the coops reflects the individual personalities in our junior class.
Though the project has just begun, our class is growing even closer. Groups are constantly collaborating with each other to come up with the best possible structure for their chicken coops. Groups help each other by sharing drills when too many run out of battery, or grabbing each other a pile of nails and screws. We all are continuously working yet everyone seems to know where everyone else is. We function like a bee hive. We are all busy buzzing around with our own individual roles, yet we are working as a team to finish a broader more complex project.
Our collective excitement about this assignment motivates us to work as hard as we can, and make every detail precise and (almost) perfect. Despite the fact that we just started building, we are confident that we know how to build these coops. With the help of our wonderful teacher, Ms. Oropallo, and generous parent volunteers, these coops should turn out wonderful, and hopefully very original and creative.