Kids Build Life-Size 3-D Puzzle: 7th Graders Raise a Model Barn

Teenagers shuffle into the auditorium. They are seated and have a look of disinterest. Keith Cramer, National Barn Alliance board member, asks how many kids have seen a barn. Less than half of the 7th graders raise their hands. Cramer then tells them they are going to raise barn. The looks of disinterest start to turn into looks of curiosity and then excitement.

On October 18, over 200 7th and 8th graders from the Waterfront School in Buffalo, NY, built a model of a “Dutch” barn typically found in New York from 130 wooden pieces using only simple hand tools and without nails.

Teamworks and Timbers is the National Barn Alliance educational outreach program bringing youth face-to-face with America’s disappearing rural heritage and trades. The program is designed to plant the seed for preservation while sharing history and teaching science/engineering/construction skills to youth in grades 4-12.

This program was in conjunction with the National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference being held in Buffalo from October 19-22. Stephanie Meeks, President & CEO, National Trust for Historic Preservation observed keenly the kids in the building process.

We’d like to thank shop teacher, Quinn Wright, working with us in organizing this program and Principal David Hills for opening his school to us. We

greatly appreciate the support of Buffalo School Superintendent Amber Dixon and Technical Education Director Kathy Heinle.