Big Skills Tiny Homes provides self-discovery, and skill development to students interested in the trades. Through the process of building a tiny home from scratch to completion, students are exposed to a variety of trade disciplines and are empowered to identify their future career path.
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The Big Skills Tiny Homes (BSTH) program at San Rafael High School has two levels of training; the upper-level is Big Skills Tiny Homes team members receiving approximately 900 hours of hands-on training per school year. The other level is San Rafael High School students receiving approximately 140 hours of hands-on training per year, through their enrollment in the Building and Construction Trades class.
Sean Ticknor, Executive Director and founder of BSTH, leads a team of four or five BSTH team members to build two tiny homes. During the build, San Rafael High School students will participate in the construction during their Building and Construction Trades class periods. The project takes one school year to complete.
Each of the BSTH team members will lead four or five high school students through the same disciplines they are learning. This will increase the depth of learning for the BSTH team members as well as maintaining a very small student to teacher ratio that is critical for teaching construction skills. The structure of the program will also encourage development of communication and leadership skills for the BSTH team members, as well as creating two tiny homes during the academic year.
A tiny home was selected as an ideal construction project for the following reasons:
The tiny home will be approximately 200 square feet large, and include a living space, modern bathroom, and complete kitchen. Like any other typical home, it will have plumbing, electricity, wood framed walls with windows and doors, and roofing. It will be finished with carpet, drapes, dishes, and decor. The home will be energy efficient and recycled building materials will be used, when possible.
Sean Ticknor and his team members will work full time nine months. The first four students to enter the program will start in September. The program will have three building phases, which are outlined below.
PHASE ONE - September, October, November
PHASE TWO - December, January, February
PHASE THREE - March, April, May
Participants will experience all aspects of building a home, including the planning, drafting, and budgeting process required to complete such a complex project. Throughout the nine-month process, each student will exposed to a wide rage of construction skills, including carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, roofing, tiling, trim work and finishing. Additionally, by working as a team on a daily basis, each student will further their leadership, decision-making, problem-solving, and communication skills.
After the tiny home is built, participants will undergo a career planning session. This will include meeting with team members individually and asking them:
The program does not end at the completion of the nine-month build and career planning session. Rather, BSTH will help place team graduates into the next stage of their career and regularly follow up with graduates.
Possible placement options include:
BSTH will provide recommendations for placements and check in with graduates to ensure that graduates continue to move towards their goals. BSTH is committed to supporting its graduates to ensure their long-term success.