SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – A shop class from West Valley High School will be in Olympia on Monday competing against other schools in front of Washington lawmakers.

The students built a shed completely from scratch as part of the CTE Showcase of Skills Homeless Shelter Project competition. The one-day competition brought together 22 teams from both high school and college to demonstrate their technical skills by building portable and energy-efficient sheds. When they are all finished, all the sheds will be used as housing for homeless in Seattle.

“It'll be just good to know that it did all go to a good cause,” West Valley junior Sean Levinson said.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee will be speaking at an event in Olympia along with the state’s Newly elected Superintendent of Public Instruction, Chris Reykdal.

“It just warms my heart to be like, Oh my gosh I'm actually doing something outside of the school,"
West Valley senior Alexis Cardy said. “So it's really nice to be like, ‘I'm actually building a house for someone.’ "

“Being able to look, like kind of drive by or walk by, and see your work, it's always kind of a really good feeling to see your progress and what you've done,” West Valley senior Sean Schramm said. “And especially to know that it's going to someone who needs it, it just kind of helps out.”

Following rules of the competition, only five students were allowed to work on the project out of a class of more than 20 students. It's a privilege their teacher David Leinweber said they have earned.

“I picked students that I knew could work independently because they're working on this project aside from the stuff that the rest of the students are working on,” Leinweber said. “And quite frankly I wanted students that when I took them on the road, we could all get along.”

Students said being in shop class has changed the way they look at school and their futures.

“It's a lot more hands on. It's very good for me, I'm a hands-on learner,” Levinson said “I don't like reading a whole lot of books, I don't like listening to a lot of lectures. It's just a good learning thing for me.”

All are picking up valuable skills and knowledge, and many want to apply them in their careers one day.

“You get to work with your hands, that's the best part of it,” Cardy said. “You get to learn all of these crazy tools, and it's just nice to get to work with your hands rather than out of a textbook.”

Pro Build, a local contract supply company, donated more than $1,800 worth of materials to help them with the project. Each team got a $2,500 stipend from the state to help pay for supplies.

“You know it's great for the kids to be giving back to the community, doing something that affects other people's lives and doing something outside of the classroom,” Leinweber said.