Minnetonka special needs students learn real-life skills building tiny home

Of all the items Josh Taylor has worked on in his industrial arts class at the West Education Center in Minnetonka, it's the tiniest project that's had the biggest impact. 

He's one of 200 students with special needs at the school who helped build a tiny home over the last two years, a hands-on project that not only helped the kids develop academic skills, but social skills like teamwork as well.

"If you do a project where they are thinking through it, working with their hands, having a finished a product at the end instead of writing a paper or discussing it, that's beneficial to all students in all subject areas," said Tim Holzheuter, one of the teachers in charge of the project.

Sitting at eight feet wide, 24 feet long and 15 feet high, the tiny house is filled with features--like a sleeping loft, a full kitchen and even a self-composting toilet and shower in the bathroom.

It's actually the second tiny house students at the school have built, with the first going to a Minneapolis woman who bought and is now living in their creation. The school hopes to find another buyer this year once the tiny home is complete, though school officials say they're hoping to pick a smaller project for next year that doesn't require as much time or effort.

"I could see it especially in Minnesota as a summer cabin," Holzheuter said. "I just want it to go someone who is going to appreciate it and take care of it because we spent alot of time and put alot of energy into it."