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Students tackle homelessness, win award

Photo of Val Seeley, Myles Artis, Caden Hiebert, Nathan Buslach and Steve Lorenz

Pictured from left: Hudson’s Bay Principal Val Seeley; students Myles Artis, Caden Hiebert and Nathan Buslach; and teacher Steve Lorenz

Temporary shelter designed to alleviate demand on local shelters

Citing rising homeless numbers in Clark County and homelessness among their peers, three students from Hudson’s Bay High School have designed a pop-up, modular homeless shelter that is easy to set up and store.

Seniors Caden Hiebert, Myles Artis and Nathan Buslach’s temporary shelter concept can accommodate up to three people and is compatible with outside power sources without requiring excessive energy consumption. They plan to construct a full-scale prototype from a lightweight perlite-concrete material and recycled plastic bottles.

The trio, all enrolled in their school’s Architecture, Construction, Environmental Services magnet program and participants in Future Farmers of America, hope to alleviate the demand on local shelters, which often are taxed during peak times such as winter.

For their work, the students were selected as one of five Washington state finalists in the 2017-18 Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest and received a Samsung Chromebook. Now they are in the running for the State Winner title.

However, the students plan to move forward with the project regardless of that outcome, said teacher Steve Lorenz.

“Designing, reviewing, building and assessing the ways to solve this homeless issue will allow opportunities for many students to engage in real-world problem-solving,” said Lorenz and the students in their Solve for Tomorrow application. “We appreciate this opportunity to not act like engineers, but to be engineers.”

This is not the first time that Hudson’s Bay students have been in contention for top Solve for Tomorrow prize. During the 2014-15 school year, a different group claimed one of five national awards for their work to use mushrooms to reclaim cardboard waste.