Lincoln High Students Build A Garden Project for the RI Home Show

An Interdisciplinary Success


Katherine Kilsey

Students in Mr. Grant’s construction class build a project designed by Mr. Gervais’ class. The structure will be on display at the RI Home Show this week.

Katerine Kilsey, Lion's Roar Staff

For the thousands of people in attendance, the Rhode Island Home Show is a beacon of inspiration for home builders, homeowners, gardeners and families.  Yet there is more to the massive exhibition than bricks, mortar and perennials.  For students in Career and Tech Ed (CTE) programs, it’s also about learning, dreaming, designing and building, watching as something that starts with a bit of imagination turns into a remarkable achievement. This year, among the many participating, are the students of Lincoln High School.

Rylie Martins of Mr. Grant’s class. works on the garden structure (Katherine Kilsey)

March 30 marks the start of the 73rd Annual Rhode Island Home Show. The show is the largest and longest-running display of its kind in New England and features hundreds of home-related exhibitors. This year, Lincoln High School created a unique project to display at the show. The school was asked to create a physical product for the garden exhibit, and ultimately decided on a staircase. 

Mr. Robert Gervais, the Design and Engineering teacher at LHS, explained that the project is meaningful to students. “The best way to get the students interested in what they’re doing is to give them a real-world experience,” he said.  “It’s to incorporate things like that right into their learning.” His classes had just finished learning about design features such as rise and run, and the experience of designing a large product allowed students to apply their learning to an intricate project.

The project allowed many different groups of students at LHS to collaborate on a real-life experience. Mr. Gervais compares the situation to one in the business world, where ideas are passed along through various sets of people. It started with the design and engineering classes, who created an original sketch and planned out the dimensions. They then sent it off to the construction and technology class, who constructed the physical staircase out of wood planks. Finally, the art classes finalized the project by adding their creative touch and creating the dragon on top to tie the fantasy theme together. The journalism classes also played a significant role, taking plenty of photos and videos to cover all aspects of the project as well as reporting on the Home Show. The main component of the staircase is around six feet tall and incorporates stairs with depths of around eight and a half inches, and it is strong enough to support humans walking on it.

LHS students have also found the staircase project beneficial for their learning. Ryan Rodrigues, a senior in the Design and Engineering CTE program, expresses why he and fellow senior John Crohan got involved: “Since we’re both in the Design and Engineering CTE, this was a great opportunity for us to get our foot in the door and see what it’s like to be engineering out in the real world.” The two expressed their gratitude for Mr. Gervais connecting LHS with outside projects for students to work on, such as the Home and Garden Show.

This year, the Home Show will feature a specialty flower show, a garden exhibit, Inspiration Showcase, and Energy Expo. Make sure to visit from March 30th-April 2nd to see Lincoln’s expertly crafted fantasy staircase as well as countless other incredible projects.