'My students all voted to solve the community problem of homelessness'

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Science teacher Holly Ellingson challenged her students at Gateways High School to tackle a community issue.

"My students in both my engineering and design classes all voted to solve the community problem of homelessness," she said, "by building a tiny house."

The results of their work made Gateways the Oregon winner in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest. The school will receive at least $20,000 worth of technology products - and the project now goes up against 50 other projects from across the country for a shot at the national title.

One of the tasks left to accomplish: Making a video explaining the project.

The students are eager to share their work.

"They can sleep up in the loft and other storage can go down in the bottom, and there's a door on the other side of everything, too," student Stevie Pool said of the design. "It's been pretty exciting because I can go and help people that actually need a house."

"Any school could do this," said Alex Daniell, a community partner on the project. "It's fairly inexpensive, you learn construction, you learn design, you get a homeless person off the street."