NEW CASTLE, Pa.– Friday nights in late autumn turned into a construction party for volunteers gathered at the New Castle School of Trades where the Tiny House (TH) Project finally started taking shape. The community build for Westminster’s unique environmental science experiment brought together volunteers at the NCTS, from Westminster’s faculty and staff as well as students.
What is the The TH Project? It will allow Westminster College to develop a unique living/learning educational experience that integrates concepts of sustainability, simple living, environmental science/studies into students’ coursework and lifestyles.
It started in Phase I of the project (Spring 2016), a team of students will help design and plan the building of the first TH. Ideally, we will construct the TH through a “community build” where students, faculty, staff, community members, and alumni are able to support the building of the TH through physical participation in the build, donations, and/or other contributions.
The project moved into the construction phase after funding, planning and logistics were mapped out. When the structure is complete and the Tiny House is relocated to Westminster, the experiment will take a new direction.
Each student enrolled in a TH-linked course will experience “tiny living” for approximately one-two weeks (new students will rotate into the TH’s every one-two weeks). Student learning objectives associated with tiny living will be meaningfully integrated into TH-linked coursework. This novel educational model which incorporates tiny living into the student’s academic experience will position Westminster College as an innovator in sustainability education.
In addition to serving as a novel means for forwarding Westminster’s mission, the Tiny Housing Project will enable a series of more specific objectives to be achieved, including:
- Provide unique and marketable student learning experiences (and associated student learning outcomes) that are made possible by integrating tiny housing with academic experiences.
- Establish Westminster College regionally and nationally as an innovator in sustainability education and sustainable living.
- Recruit increased numbers of sustainability-minded students (especially those who may not otherwise have Westminster College on their radar screens).
- Gain greater visibility for Westminster College, regionally and nationally, through marketing and promotion of the Tiny Housing Project.