BVAS Students Dream Big

September 28, 2017 | Melanie Lawson

The upper grade students of Boise Valley Adventist School (BVAS) had the opportunity to dream big when the Dream House project was presented to their class.

The Dream House project is something teacher Simon Chung has incorporated into his curriculum and implements in every classroom.    

The Dream House project is oriented toward STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and incorporates several subjects, including math for calculating area, technology for research, writing skills for creating fliers, and engineering and art for integrating design features.

To complete the dream house, students had to design floor plans using basic geometric shapes, calculate the area of the plan to determine flooring costs, conduct research on alternative energy sources and determine the best fit for their dream house location. Additional skills gained through the project included “critical and creative thinking, problem solving, and time management,” says Chung.

To prepare for the project, students had to identify shapes and have a basic understanding of their properties, calculate the lengths of line segments and circular arcs, and be able to calculate the area of various shapes. 

Throughout the process students were encouraged to ask questions that would help them achieve their goal, imagine a design, and then brainstorm ideas and solutions to facilitate the design before building it in model scale. They also had to create a blueprint of the floor plan, build the structure, and improve it along the way by double-checking measurements and receiving feedback.

For the project, students were given a $4 million budget. Some creative designs included an indoor zipline, an indoor pool, an indoor paintball arena, an outdoor theater, an ecofriendly patio and a showroom for race cars.

Once the model homes were completed, they were put on display. School and church families were invited to an open house to view the finished products and creative designs. To prepare for the open house, students had to create a full-page colored brochure (complete with value, square footage, pictures and a list of features) to advertise their home. Students were then allowed to sell their displays to patrons and visitors during the open house. The homes were sold for material value, not for dream house value.

Chung hopes that, in addition to gaining life skills like critical thinking, problem solving and time management, his students will be able to draw spiritual lessons from their experience — lessons such as pride in a job well-done and persistence in staying faithful when the going gets tough.