Engineering for the Poor by Michael

Hey guys, this is Michael.  Yall still remember me right?  I haven't done a blog in a while now, but without further delay, this is my story of how I became the head engineer for all of our construction projects.  

So about one and a half years ago in Puerto Rico, my Mom asked me to build a shower for a man called Nelson.  She told me I was the Head Engineer and I got excited because I would like to be a mechanical engineer when I grow up.  Since then, I've been the head engineer for every project. It's been really fun and I've had to be very, very creative.  I've had to do things/projects at our house (like fix the gutter) and figure out how the water doesn't run into the driveway.  Things like this are helping develop my engineering mind and creativity because there aren't many extracurricular activities here that will help with that. 

I just did a chicken coop project.  The steps to making the chicken coop were first, I had to scope out the plot to build it in.  Then, I had to design a functioning chicken coop.  Next, I had to finalize the drawing and then I had to make a material list.  We then went to buy the materials and I had to modify the design based on the materials that were available.  We had to dig out the post holes and set the posts while another team was building the frame.  We decided to build the roof and door frame/door separately.  We added the frame to the posts that were in the ground and then added the door/frame and finally added the roof.  We had to attach the chicken wire on the outside and then we poured cement into the post holes to make sure the structure would hold up to the weather.  Finally, we did a photo shoot of the finished project.  Although the process was long and a lot of work it was loads of fun to do with the FMC community...and I was pretty sure that since most of the community was there we could have a sleepover).  Having the opportunity to work on these projects has helped me to develop my engineering mind and to problem-solve when issues come up, as they always do.  

My dad is a member of Fr. Saylor Knights of Columbus Council #3774 in Allen Park, Michigan, and I have a lot of memories of him helping out when I was young.  The K of C council made a donation to support the construction of these chicken coops and so far we have done two of the five that are planned.  It feels really good to help other families and to work together as part of a team to get things done.

I have included some photos of this chicken coop project down below:

Here we are working together as my dad offers some helpful "Dad" advice

Here we are framing out the roof

Adding the metal roof panels to the frame

Adding the chicken wire to the outside

Mixing up cement to secure the posts

When we were done we played games with the kids that lived there

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog post.

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