For her school project, Sicily Kolbeck, a 12-year-old student at HoneyFern School in Marietta, Georgia built a small eco-friendly house based on the tiny house movement that is sweeping the United States.
Sicily discovered Deek Diedrickson’s Tiny Yellow House, Relaxhacks YouTube channel, and Kirsten Dirksen’s We, the Tiny House People documentary, and was inspired to study the tiny house movement in great detail.
Sicily’s house is 128 square feet. It has a 30 square foot loft, full bathroom, full kitchen, and solar panels.
Sicily is one of six students attending HoneyFern, a private, non-profit school founded by her mother in 2010. The goal of HoneyFern is to allow students to escape the test and grade-based environment found in the public school system.
Every student at HoneyFern works intensively with a teacher to identify individual interests. The student is then encouraged to design a project that nourishes strengths and their weaknesses. The curriculum is entirely project-based and subjects are linked to the student’s interests in order to foster a love of learning and understanding of practical application. True learning, the school founders believe, happens when students are engaged, creative, and collaborative.
Since Sicily is motivated by her house project and wants to see it come to fruition, she is learning math, engineering, design, and even physics. Sicily herself says that this experience has been incredibly didactic and she has learned a great deal and cultivated skills that will last for a lifetime.