Zane Middle School in Eureka, California
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A hangout/reading area is a place where people go to have fun and relax during the stresses of their everyday life. Our client representative on this project is Pam Brittenburg. She is an English and Spanish teacher at ZANE middle school. She also opens her classroom during breaks for anyone to come in and have fun on days when the conditions outside are less than favorable. This hangout/reading area will serve as a place within her classroom for the kids to engage with one another and relax during such days.

Problem statement and criteria[edit | edit source]

Criteria Constraints Weight
Safety The ability of the design to not harm its users, even in circumstances of extreme misuse. 10
Durability The ability of the design to withstand constant use and misuse. 10
Eco-Friendly The sustainability of the construction materials used in the project. 6
Aesthetically pleasing The ability of the design to look pleasant and appealing to a general audience. 7
Movability The ability of the design to be moved in case the floors need to be replaced. 7
School Spirit The ability of the design to evoke a sense of school spirit using school colors and mascot. 5
Inspirational and Engaging The ability of the design to remind the students to be motivated and inspire them. 4
Affordability The ability of the project to not cost over $500 amount of money. 6

Description of final project[edit | edit source]

Reading Pod

The reading pod is made from recycled CDX plywood, 1-inch Aluminum square tubing, plastic joints, upholstery fabric and polyurethane padding. The skeleton of the pod is constructed using the 1-inch aluminum tubing. The dimensions of the skeleton are 4.25 feet tall, 3.5 feet wide, and 3 feet deep. This skeleton is joined in its 8 corners by plastic joints. The panels of the pod are made from 5/8-inch thick CDX plywood. This plywood is upholstered using vinyl fabric and polyurethane padding for comfort. The panels are then joined to the skeleton using a combination of bolts and screws for ease of disassembly.

Tree Bookshelf

The tree bookshelf is made from 5/8-inch thick CDX plywood. The lengths are all 8 inches deep and are cut at various lengths and fit together at various angles in order to look like a tree. The shelves are supported by brackets that are drilled into the wall and into the shelving units.

Bucket Seats

The bucket seats are 4.5-gallon buckets that were spray painted gray. Added to the buckets was a piece of upholstered plywood with added polyurethane padding for comfort. 6 bucket seats were made in total.

Prototyping[edit | edit source]

Use a gallery of prototyping photos and lessons learned.

Troubleshooting[edit | edit source]

Problem Suggestion
Paint chips from bucket seats First remove the cushion from the bucket. Then, in a well-ventilated area, spray paint the area with matte gray paint made especially for plastic. Wait one hour before applying another coat. Next, spray a layer of clear coat, wait another hour, and reapply another coat.
Fabric rips on reading pod Simply use a staple gun to secure the fabric to the plywood. If no staple gun is available, duct tape could work as a temporary fix.

Discussion and next steps[edit | edit source]

This project has transformed a normal middle school classroom into an inviting and engaging area for students to read, hangout, and get inspired. The classrooms reading area contains the reading pod and tree bookshelf. It is in the corner furthest from the door to minimize noise pollution from outside. The reading pod serves as a quiet space for students to comfortably read or study in. The tree bookshelf may inspire the students to become creators. The hangout area is located on the adjacent corner of the reading area. This space is used as the hangout area because it is closest to the door and noise pollution is not a problem. This area contains bucket seats and a chalk board for students to express themselves through art, play interactive games, or collaborate in their studies.

Next Steps: 1) Provide chalk for students 2) Provide activities for student to engage in while using the hangout area

Suggestions for future changes[edit | edit source]

Suggestions to improve the hangout area:

Applying multiple layers of chalk board paint to improve the chalk board. The use of 5 gallon buckets for the bucket seats to increase the height of the bucket seats, decreasing the height difference from the seats to the table.

Suggestions to improve the reading area: Constructing the reading pod with smaller dimensions to improve the portability aspect. The use of sleeves on all visible aluminum bars to improve the aesthetics. The tree bookshelf could be improved by binding the joints with the use of brackets instead of wood glue and nails. The flooring could also be improved by filling the gaps where there is no foam flooring.

FA info icon.svg Angle down icon.svg Page data
Authors Dylan Bardin, Jacob Aguilera
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related 0 subpages, 3 pages link here
Aliases ZaneHangoutArea
Impact 537 page views
Created May 10, 2019 by Dylan Bardin
Modified August 22, 2023 by Lonny Grafman
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