One fifth grader took a school project to a whole new level with an entire renewably-powered mobile tiny home. Ten-year-old Callie Hilton designed Callie’s Coop, an off-grid shelter powered via a small solar panel that boasts its own rainwater capturing system and composting toilet. The whole thing is light enough that Callie can move it herself, and by using reclaimed materials, she kept the cost of the project to under $10.
Callie’s Coop is Callie’s fifth grade project; she and her classmates were tasked with making a project inspired by the solar system or solar energy. Callie picked solar power, and fabricated an entire off-grid tiny house shelter from that starting point. She was featured as a speaker at the 2017 Georgia Tiny House Festival this past weekend. She recently shared her design in a video by Relax Shacks taken at United Tiny House Association‘s Georgia Tiny House Festival 2017.
In Relax Shacks’ video, Callie takes viewers on a tour of her shelter and its features. Inside Callie’s Coop is divided into two main areas; one for sleeping and one for storing devices like a bucket that serves as a composting toilet and small oven that heats up food in sunlight. Above the mattress there’s even a small storage container that slides in and out of the ceiling, and a light bulb powered by a five-volt solar panel.
The tiny house is cleverly designed to gather rainwater; a sloped roof sends water into tubes that convey the water to a container inside the shelter. The panel in front of the storage area is black to heat water collected there, but Callie noted that black panel could also be moved by the mattress in the winter to help warm up an inhabitant.
She attached walker handles to one end of Callie’s Coop so one person can move the shelter by themselves; she said it only weighs around 25 pounds and demonstrated how she could move it herself. She even installed locks on the doors so they don’t slide around when the shelter is moved.
After re-purposed materials and supplies from her father’s workshop, Callie only spent around $10 on her shelter. It’s a fantastic start for this 5th grader – we can’t wait to see what she builds next!