Tulsa Tech Students Find Extreme Success


CARPENTRY INSTRUCTION: Tulsa Tech faculty and students, from left, Bill Call, Seth Winterbottom, Trey Slaughter and Samuel Mencer work hard to get ready for the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition television show.

Courtesy Tulsa Tech

Mud, snow, ice, cold, crowded workspaces and Hollywood production deadlines were just a few of the challenges students, teachers and counselors from Tulsa Tech faced while working on the recent production of the television program, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Howard Smith, the Carpentry Technology instructor with over 35 years experience in the industry, marveled at the student’s dedication to this extreme project.

“Students were allowed to leave at 3 p.m., and when class was over 95 percent of them stayed until about 10 p.m. each night of the project,” said Smith. “I couldn’t be more proud of this group of men and women. We had so much fun that some of their parents also came out to work with us.”

The wildly-popular reality show rolled its giant bus loaded with star designers and builders into Tulsa to construct the Starkweather family a new home in just six days. From demolition to the ultimate “Move that bus!” moment, Tulsa Tech’s carpentry students were involved in key tasks for the project, including specialty items for all of the bedrooms.

“We worked in the Art World section of the project site,” recalls Seth Honn, a second-year adult student from Sand Springs. “It was pretty cool and very exciting. We had no idea it would be so fast-paced, and that everyone would work so fast.”

Fast is right. Hundreds of on-site volunteers worked around the clock for six days to build and furnish the new home, with students constantly in the middle of the action building furniture like nightstands and tables, cutting and hanging rafters, and helping with additional finish work.

“One of the biggest surprises for me was that no one was going through the projects step-by-step with us,” said Trey Slaughter, a third-year adult student from Tulsa, who estimates he spent between 20 and 25 hours at the jobsite. “They handed us pages of plans and let us get to work. It was great!”

“It was an awesome experience to be there,” said Brittany Friday, a second-year Tech student and senior at Union High School. “There was a lot going on at one time. I loved seeing the house when it was done, but most people won’t see the amount of detail that went into it when they watch the show on television.”

This isn’t the carpentry group’s first community service project. Other assignments have included United Way Day of Caring projects and helping build the Union High School athletic equipment room.

“The students benefitted tremendously from the real-life, double-time experience,” stated Smith. “This ‘extreme’ education is the culmination of two years of hard work by all of these students.”

We’re proud of all of the students, faculty and staff members who participated in this wonderful project.

If you’re currently looking for classes for both high school and adult students, quality business and industry training, or an opportunity to build your future, Tulsa Tech invites you to visit today. For more information, please call (918) 828-5200, or visit us online at www.tulsatech.edu.

Updated 04-02-2010

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