Roy Bonnette

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The Technology Teacher

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Technology students successfully developed four complete sets of house plans including floor plans, framing plans, and elevations. Because Habitat relies on donations of doors, windows, and cabinets, detail drawings and schedules vary and were not included. Unskilled persons who volunteered time and labor for Habitat needed concise and unambiguous directions from supervisors. The students' drawings of floor and elevation plans provided these workers with a clear and graphic representation of the construction goals. As noted above, students were held to professional and technical accountability. This process was put in place to replicate real-world practices and to give students a sense of accomplishment that is achieved when they maintain their commitment to community-based responsibilities. As Hill (2004) notes, "service learning projects not only provide technological artifacts that have real-world purpose and value, but they cultivate desirable attributes of citizenship and charity that are beneficial to society" (p. 11 ). The academic service learning project outlined in this article is an example of a community outreach project that can be successfully completed at the secondary or postsecondary level. This project was a win-win for the students, the community, and the university. The technology students reported a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment resulting from their contributions to families in the local community. Beyond this, Dundon (2000) found that service learning projects helped students answer the questions: "What do I do well? What life experiences have shaped me and made me who I am?" (p. 34). This partnership between the University and Habitat for Humanity created a successful academic service learning project that gave these technology students real-world experiences, enhanced classroom learning, and enhanced the technology students' personal and social maturation.