A team of four Arkadelphia High School students is the champion of Students Design for Change at Arkansas Tech University.
McKinley Green, Reagan Rorie, Staton Whitten and Tyler Woodson, known collectively by their team name “The Snurkies,” won over a panel of four judges with their construction of a micro shelter as temporary housing for a person who is homeless.
The team members were commended for the “unique design and livability” of their shelter, which was one of five finalist projects displayed for judging and public viewing outside ATU’s Chambers Cafeteria in Russellville on Friday.
The winning team was mentored and assisted by Arkadelphia School District teachers Bud McMillion and James Williams.
The finalists included three other teams from Arkadelphia High School and one team from Little Rock Central High School. A total of 29 teams submitted project designs during the initial stage of the competition.
Students Design for Change is a challenge that encourages high school students from around Arkansas to explore issues of homelessness and poverty in the state and design and construct a small cabin intended to provide short-term shelter for a person who is homeless. Goals of the initiative include raising awareness of and education about homelessness.
Each of the five finalist teams received up to $1,000 to fund construction of their short-term homeless cabins. The structures will be distributed to service organizations for use in their efforts to provide people who are homeless with temporary shelter until they can transition to permanent living accommodations.
The 2016-17 project was led by four Arkansas Tech faculty members: Dr. Carl Greco, professor of electrical engineering; Dr. Julie Mikles-Schluterman, associate professor of sociology; Megan Toland, assistant professor of journalism; and Dr. Jessica Young, assistant professor of physics.
Arkansas Tech students Taylor Bleakley of Russellville, Sarah Bubniak of Farmington and Cody Butler of England assisted in the administration of the program.
Students Design for Change 2016-17 was made possible through an interdisciplinary grant from Arkansas Tech and a community grant from the Walmart Foundation.