Newark Students Create a Tiny Shelter for Emergencies

This solar-powered tiny shelter is made from a shipping container and was designed and constructed by students as part of a live classroom program.

NEWARK, N.J. -- Help in a Hurry is a shipping container turned into a tiny shelter by four students in a pre-engineering program at Central High School.

It contains all the essentials a family of four would need should they be displaced by a natural disaster or other emergency.

The interior and functions of the $3,500, 160-square foot shipping-container-turned-tiny-shelter were designed by the students, and it took them 3 months to complete construction as part of their school program. Support from a contractor, Jingoli & Co., as part of its Live Classroom outreach program, included $68,000 and technical advice.

The students worked with industry professionals, subcontractors and code officials and managed permit approvals and the budget to complete the project. Here are some of the tiny shelter's features:

  • Rooftop solar panels for power
  • Air conditioner/heat pump
  • Stovetop, refrigerator with a fold down dining table and stackable chairs
  • Compact sink, shower and portable toilet that works with the shower
  • Sleeper sofa
  • Fire extinguisher, smoke detector and fire alarm
  • 72-hour emergency food kit attached to the wall
  • Filtration system for rainwater collected by the gutter
  • Handicap-accessible ramp

"The live classroom took a real-world problem and made it into a possible solution," said Naseed Gifted, the school's vice principal in charge of the pre-engineering program.

Read the original story on the Star-Ledger's website.

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