Going into this class I knew it would be like no other class I had ever taken. I came in with a confidence that Ms.Oropallo would do an outstanding job teaching us not only how to build, but also how to go outside our comfort zones. And we for sure achieved both. At the end of a long day, from history to math, engineering was the shining light at the end of a dark long hallway. When my Wednesdays and Fridays often entailed me not understanding what is happening in math class, and feeling shut down, as if I couldn’t do anything. But when I came to engineering it was quite the opposite experience. Coming out of a long day of that class, I felt unstoppable. And my chicken coop group was just that.

My group, Michaela, Renee, and Paloma, and I, successfully have created a beautiful chicken coop. We began the process by sketching out our plans of what we wanted our chicken coops to look like, this was by far the hardest part of the project for me. I am very visual, so it was hard for me to get started because I couldn’t see how a pile of wood could be fit together like a puzzle to create walls and floors. When I started to get really into the project was when we went to the away station and urban ore. These places were absolute heaven. We explored through the piles of pink and blue bathtubs, fun patterned tiles, and rusted metal art. After that field trip I was ready to build.

Throughout the year we learned so many different skills. I became a mosaicing master. We created a 4 by 3 mosaic of three pots with strawberries, succulents, and flowers growing out of them. This will go above the planter box, that is on top of the run of our chicken coop. I feel like this mosaic was where my creativity really got to shine. Yes making a chicken coop is creative when it comes to designing it, but after that you CAN NOT get creative with building it, especially when it comes to measurements, I’ve tried being creative with those, but that often results in lop-sided ladders. So in the mosaic I got to go crazy, smash stuff (on purpose this time), and take kaos and make it into something beautiful.

There were many times in the building process where we had drawbacks, but Ms.Oropallo

would also reassure us that it would be okay, and guide us in the right direction to fixing the problem. We all learned how to be somewhat a McGyver, if it came to repairing broken windows or running out of long enough 2 by 4s.

The moment that really showed us how much we had grown over the year was going to Goatlandia. We were building a goat play structure. Beginning this was rough because none of us really understood what this was supposed to look like, but once the posted were put in place, we all came to life. After 13 hours of building we created the most beautiful goat play structure I had ever seen, although that was the only one I had ever seen. We all worked together and were an unstoppable force.

Now sadly this school year has come to an end, but we will never forget the lessons we learned in our MSEL Engineering class. I would like to thank Ms. Oropallo for helping us learn important about building, teamwork, and ourselves. I would also like to thank my chicken coop group for be so amazing, and putting true meaning behind “build like a girl”. Lastly I would like the thank my MSEL class for always being there for me, and being the best family I could ask for.


  1. Devon, I too waited for this class on Wednesdays and Fridays after a long day of history and math. Your chicken coop was one of the best and part of that was because of your amazing mosaic. I agree that Mrs.o really brought out the best of us. And thanks, we love you too.

  2. The wood is like a puzzle! Your mosaic looked so cute, I hope it never breaks again. And your one of the only groups to actually get the run done, so great job! Im so sad this year and this class is over, I will miss everything so much.

  3. Nice blog Devon! I think your blog was really cool, and that it is even cooler that you were able to smash stuff for your chicken coop (making the best mosaic thing ever). I know your coop looks professional and artistic and I love it!

  4. This is great! I love your coop and the mosaic looks devine! I agree when you say that engineering class makes you feel unstoppable because for me, all the tools I get to use make me feel so powerful and strong. I just love that feeling.

  5. Our coop is amazing!!!!!! The mosaic looks so good dev, I’m so glad you took over it and made it look so beautiful. I also love our group and we do now truly understand the saying “build like a girl.”

  6. I am also sad this year is coming to an end, but we’ve had so much fun! I agree that this class was a definite light at the end of the tunnel and I really love your mosaic! Coop looks great!

  7. Your mosaic is beautiful! It makes a great addition to your already beautiful chicken coup. No wonder Mrs. King already wants to buy it… I am so sad that I missed most of the goatlandia trip, I feel as if I left just as things were getting exciting! The structure looks really amazing and I share your sadness as to the end of the year.

  8. I could not agree more that it is a needed success in the day (after math class etc…) and that the ability to balance design with focus was incredible and really a good lesson. Your coop is beautiful and your mosaic is wonderful as well– Congrats, Devon (and co)!

  9. I liked this a lot Dev!! I can agree that we learned so much in this class that I will most definelty never forget. Your coop looks amazing and the mosaic on it is beautiful you really are a mosaic master. I can not agree more the MSEL class has helped everyone out so much and we have all been there for each other when we need them.

  10. Great blog! I’m also sad that this class is over and we have to go back to boring classes only next year 🙁 Your chicken coop is amazing and I am blown away my your mosaic making skills. It looks awesome!

  11. Aw Devon I love this! I think engineering is the highlight to almost all of our days. We have all learned how to build and do so many different things. Your chicken coop is so cool and your mosaic is absolutely stunning. You should be proud of everything you’ve accomplished this year!

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