Espanola High School students design mobile clinic for local hospital

Construction Technology students at Espanola High School are putting their skills to the test by designing a mobile clinic for the Espanola Regional Hospital & Health Centre.

Teacher Gabe Keresztesi was looking for a way to involve his students in a real-life project and thought the local hospital would be a perfect fit. Grade 10 student Adrian Carney swiftly jumped on board. “I love the idea of tiny houses, so I was quick to sign up for this project.”

Hospital staff were excited to hear of the opportunity, and made plans to use the space for mental health and vaccination clinics as an option to the traditional hospital setting. The Community Health Team said they could also use the clinic to run the Bike Exchange program.

After securing a $5,000 Community Connected Experiential Learning Grant, students began collaborating with hospital staff on project parameters. A portion of the grant will fund a trailer that will be built by students from Lively District Secondary School. Funding will be sought again in 2021-2022 to complete the carpentry portion of the build.

Keresztesi engaged as many of his students as possible for the project design to develop a variety of prototypes using computer-aided software.

Grade 9 student Micah Jacques thoroughly enjoyed the artistic aspect of the design process. “I was able to be creative with my ideas. Mr. Keresztesi let us put our own ‘spin’ on it.”

Keresztesi says tackling a large-scale project will encourage students to set the bar high and raise the expectations they have for themselves. “When students are challenged with really meaningful projects, they are better able to work through the required skills such as measurement, construction math, reading blueprints, and using circular and table saws, and hammers and drivers. The work inspires them to achieve at higher levels.”

He adds: “Hands-on projects are ideal for students to meet curriculum expectations. Students will see a building constructed from scratch and gain a better understanding of all of the elements involved, including future maintenance.”

Grade 9 student Maxwell Meier is excited that the project will benefit the community in a lot of ways. “I’m proud to be a part of it,” he says.

“One of the best things about this project is that it promises to be a lot of fun for those involved,” says Gabe Keresztesi. “It’s a project they will take a lot of pride in – a win-win for all.”

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