tiny on wheels

Explaining Tiny Houses to High School Students

Yesterday Matt and I made our long awaited return to the amazing Anne Richards School in Austin, Texas. You might remember our visit last year, where we were brought in to teach the all-girls engineering class for 2 weeks, as they were doing the first COMET Camper-inspired curriculum, Project  Ventura. The girls had to design an eco-friendly trailer to be used by the school community.

This year, the girls of the Anne Richards School have a bigger budget and a bigger project: to turn a huge Airstream trailer into a teacher's lounge powered by solar panels. We are so excited to be in Austin again hanging out with these amazing high school girls. Their passion and innovation is incredible. I keep telling them how lucky they are to be restoring vintage trailers as a school project! I think they realize the importance of the project and the opportunity it creates.

So yesterday Matt and I gave the class our introduction to Tiny Houses. I'm used to giving this presentation to groups of older people - people living on their own already, and people with jobs and kids. But giving the presentation to high school students was totally different! They could see the COMET lifestyle (either in a trailer or tiny house) as a way out of their parent's house, or as an alternative to expensive college dorm housing. We heard many of the girls exclaiming "I have to rethink my whole life now!!", which was awesome!

Tiny House Tour + Tiny House Construction

All photos courtesy of Timothy Ettridge. Thanks Timothy!

Timothy had this posted next to the picture of Linda and I at the chop saw:

"Mariah is the unofficial fourth instructor, for whom several of us have already expressed particular appreciation for her presence in our class. Though only 21, she already has more knowledge about tiny dwelling design and construction than many of us ever hope to attain. Working with her reminds me of working with Huw Fernie years ago on the Velux 5 Oceans sailboat race, for whenever he would come up with a MUCH better way of doing something I was doing, I would always say, "It's not that I'm dumb. It's just that you're a frickin' genius."

What a compliment! Thanks Timothy! Timothy and I are on similar paths. He is living in a trailer that he has re-done right now as he begins to build his tiny house on wheels. I think it's a good approach!

Last night I gave my lecture on Tiny House design and the details of my own project, as well as explained some tiny-house scale off-grid systems. It was really fun! I hope to come back and talk again at future tiny house courses at Yestermorrow.

Alright, back to work!