RHS ACE Takes First Place and Helps the Homeless
RHS ACE Takes First Place and Helps the Homeless
Posted on 03/31/2017

The Rogers High School Architecture, Construction and Engineering (ACE) class took first place at the 2017 Showcase of Skills March 27 in Olympia. Rogers High Ace students competed with 24 other teams for this honor.

The teams were tasked with building a tiny home that could be later used to give shelter to the homeless.

Finished shelters will provide transitional homeless housing after they are moved to Licton Springs at 8620 Aurora Ave. N. in Seattle.

Jon Cerio, the instructor of Rogers High ACE explained, “We received the materials March 7 and the tiny home was delivered on March 26. The time and dedication they put in on this project was absolutely tremendous to make this happen the way they did in less than 20 days.”
Constructing the floor of the tiny home

In order to qualify for the competition, which was put on by the state’s Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board, each team needed to earn a $2,500 grant to qualify. The students from Rogers High ACE class earned the grant after sending letters explaining their point of view on the local homeless situation and how they would like to make a difference by building a tiny home.

Each team had up to five students and teams came from all over Washington State including other high schools, technical colleges, and skills centers.

Doug Miller, a junior at Rogers High, said “I had never built a house before, and now I’ve learned the basics of being able to build a home. It touched my heart knowing that this wasn’t just a competition, it was more than that”.

The students were involved with every aspect of the tiny home. Guidelines stated the tiny home had to be 8 feet by 12 feet, including one door, and two windows.

“I learned that there is always more than one way to do something. We worked together to decide what was going to be the most productive and which was going to be easiest to replicate” said Rogers High junior, Doug Miller.

Students worked together to design the home and how they could make it unique. One thing that made the Rogers High tiny home stick out was a unique roof. Instead of a pitched roof like the other tiny homes, the students from Rogers decided to do a curved metal roof.

RHS ACE students next to framed tiny homeBraydon Manning, a junior at Rogers High, is a running start student who still comes in for ACE at Rogers. Braydon used his advanced math skills to calculate the cubic feet of the structure, to prove the volumetric increase of the curved roof design in comparison to the standard design.  The curved roof design provided 22.25 cubic feet of increased living space.

“It was the first time I have gotten to apply this kind of math to a real world situation,” Braydon explained excitedly.

The curved roof was covered with metal roofing as well as the structure siding, which was donated by Metal Roof Specialties. Metal Roof Specialties also donated their time to come in and educate the students about using metals in construction.

The shelter was picked up March 26, and the finishing touches were assembled at the competition March 27.

At the competition breakfast was served and students began finishing the shelters early in the morning. In the middle of the day students heard from various speakers, including several speakers who had previously lived in a tiny home such as the one that the teams were building.

Alejandra Contreras-Jacobo, Rogers High senior, described, “Before the results were announced, we heard from those who had experienced living in a tiny home such as the one we built. One person who spoke was telling us all thank you for the work that we did, then said ‘everyone in this competition is a winner.’ We didn’t know we were going to win first place when I heard that, but I already had felt like we had won”.

RHS ACE students inside of finished tiny home

At the end of the competition awards were given to perspective recipients, and Rogers High School ACE team took home the first place plaque. Honored to win first place, the Rogers team was even more excited about the impact this could potentially have on the lives of those who live in the tiny home in the future.

Kyle Blair, Rogers High senior exclaimed “It felt great doing something for people in the community. It kind of gives me butterflies in my stomach just thinking about how this project can help others”

The competition proved to be a win-win for each of the teams as well as the community.


Cerio commented “The students ability to give on this project even changed how I look at giving back. Their willingness to help outside of class despite having to work after school or being involved in sports showed just how much their hearts were in this project”.

RHS ACE students outside of finished tiny home

Devin Konsmo
konsmdm@puyallup.k12.wa.us