Small minds in a small town is a familiar story to most of us. Out of Towners are brought in to solve a problem. Thinking outside the box they challenge the town’s school kids….SUCCEED.. but the local school board don’t get it.

Last night was my first time visiting the Full Frame Theater located in the power station at the American Tobacco Campus to see the screening of the documentary You Build It.  The story follows Project H Design who at the request of the Superintendent are brought in to bring some type of solution to a high school in the town of Windsor located in decaying Bertie County. Their solution is education through design.

Over a course of a year three projects based on a curriculum they designed are built:

Project One: Build a Corn hole¬† a visualization project that’s a design challenge in model making.

Project Two: Chicken Coop

Project Three: Farmers Market design and build a structure

As the film starts we are hit with the firing of Superintendent Dr. “Chip” Zullinger. The school board has a bull eye on his projects and Project H consisting of Matt Miller and Emily Pilloton is at the center. They offer up their salaries and the school board lets them stay. Barely surviving on grants and additionals, they start to go about the business of providing a challenging and creative learning center known as Studio H.

The film is about challenge. The students, the community, the couple Matt and Emily and the program Studio H. You see the town is dealing with a brain drain. The educated are leaving. The youth are leaving. Unemployment isn’t so great, not a lot of industry and people want to see this drain plugged. The program Studio H is beautiful and the kids and the work produced are outstanding. The school board despite a student designed and built building just don’t get it. After two years the board still not having paid Matt and Emily a salary, Studio H leaves. So in the end once again, the educated leave, ideas drive away and innovation seeks an outlet that pays.

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L Rinehart is an wandering internet junkie. Finding great startups, battling dessert bulge and possessing the power to cancel television shows is just one of many abilities. You might find L. in a building near you.

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