Posted by: Brendan | February 25, 2008

Greenhouse- fun meter High

Once we returned from 24HOP we hit the ground running with “Sustainability Week,” which was a few days at the school (day job) focused on how we, collectively, interact with our natural environment. I led a group of students in a greenhouse construction project- most of these kids had never used hand tools before, let alone power tools. By the end of the project, we had a core group of kids- mostly girls- taking measurements, calculating, cutting, drilling, and nailing the structure together. This was truly an inspirational experience; kids from Taiwan, China, Afghanistan, and El Salvador putting in long hours together- overcoming bad weather & the occasional mistake (measure twice, cut once!) to make this greenhouse happen. They were so dedicated that they stayed long after their commitment was over, finishing up by flashlight Saturday night.


We started the project indoors, in the theater department’s Scene Shop- where Todd works. The weather was nasty, so we were lucky to have this space available. The kids first built frame subassemblies, then moved outside under a lean-to put the framing together.

Next, they stained the frame under the lean-to. Once they’d prepared the site we moved the frame into position- about a 1/4 mile away.

The kids measured out the walls & made their cuts. They put the roof on just as hail started falling from the sky!

Believe it or not, the kids did the vast majority of the heavy lifting, in literal terms as well the creative, and planning process. Once they had the basic “tools” they just took over the project and made it happen- despite nay-saying from other kids & even some adults. They just rocked it out! This was a truly inspirational experience for me- the kinda thing I’ll miss when I leave the day job (May 31st) and go full-time with Siren. This was the last daytime shot I got from the project. I’ll go over today and get a good view of the completed structure.



Fun Meter on High!



  1. Good stuff.

  2. Really cool.

  3. If only all kids were so ambitious!

  4. What a fun and totally rewarding experience!! This is something that a lot of those kids will fondly remember for a long time.

  5. Ditto what Jeni said, and I’ll bet you remember it too. 😉

  6. Neato!

  7. Very cool. So much fun to have a rewarding “day job,” especially one where you’re helping shape our future!

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