QUFSD students learn big lessons from tiny houses

Mason Carlton rested his elbow on his desk as he carefully painted the roof of a tiny house with green paint. 

“I learned that making a clay house isn’t as easy as I thought it would be,” said Mason, a rising ninth grader, who took an innovations class during Summer Academy. Student paints a clay house

Mason and his classmates worked on a Tiny House project with Queensbury Middle School art teacher Amy VanVranken, who asked the students to research tiny houses and watch an episode of Tiny House Hunters on HGTV.  

Then the students interviewed their clients — in this case middle school administrators.

“The questions ranged from budget to size to style to wants and needs regarding windows, what style bed they wanted,” VanVranken said. “And based on their requests, they then created a floor plan.”

Student makes a tiny house out of clayStudents used floorplanner.com to see their plans in 3-D. After they completed that, they created drawings that displayed what each exterior side would look like and used those drawings to create clay models of the exteriors. Then they built their houses out of clay and painted them. 

“This teaches them how to communicate with a client,” VanVranken said, “and it teaches them how to organize a space and address the needs of a client.”