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South Grafton Public School students Aidan Really and Ryan Lawson proudly stand alongside the chicken coop they designed together, which was constructed by the hard-working members of the Grafton U3A Men’s Shed as a prize in a school raffle. Image: Emma Pritchard.

Eggs-ellent raffle prize sure to eggs-site lucky winner

Emma Pritchard


When South Grafton Public School students Aidan Really and Ryan Lawson hatched an ingenious plan, they knew eggs-actly what they wanted to create.

All they needed were the additional skills of the dedicated members of the Grafton U3A Men’s Shed.

During term 3 of 2020, Year 5 students were given a project-based learning unit, which encouraged them to put on their thinking caps and design a chicken coop using both hard copy and CadTools, an online drawing app.

The students then constructed close to 100 models which were displayed in the school library.

After the top five were selected, Aidan and Ryan were announced as the winners, voted by their fellow students, and had their design brought to life by the Grafton U3A Men’s Shed.

Complete with a dozen spacious nesting boxes, sturdy perches to roost comfortably and plenty of room to enjoy a scratch around, the finished project is a creative masterpiece and a magnificent blend of youthful enthusiasm and experienced workmanship.

And it could be yours to take home.

The chicken coop is being offered as a prize in a school raffle with proceeds going towards the 2021 Year 6 graduation.

With tickets currently on sale, Aidan, Ryan and South Grafton Public School Principal Daniel Zacek are encouraging people to make a purchase quickly, or risk missing out on a fabulous addition to their home.

Humorously describing himself and Ryan as good mates “98.9 percent of the time,” Aidan said they both enjoyed working on the project and were proud and excited to be voted as the winners by the rest of the school.

“It looks just how we wanted it to look,” he said.

“And I added the flagpole, that’s my favourite part.”

After discovering “a really cool design” on the internet last year during his research, Ryan said he extended the original concept of the chicken coop by making it more weatherproof and ensuring the chickens had more shade by enclosing the front.

The boys also designed a double lock on the chicken coop, so it can be secured inside and outside to prevent the door swinging open once someone has entered.

“We thought that was a good idea so that the chickens or ducks, or whatever ends up living in the chicken coop can’t escape and that they stay safe,” Aidan pointed out.

“I think it’s a really good design, Ryan and I worked really well together, and I think a lot of people will like it.”

Two people who were certainly impressed with the design of the chicken coop, were Kevin Watkins and Frank Hepple from the Grafton U3A Men’s Shed who both had a hand in its construction.

Mr Watkins said the chicken coop was built on site at the Grafton U3A Men’s Shed at the Old Brewery Industrial Complex with construction beginning in early January.

The completed chicken coop was delivered to the school on February 10 and was delightfully received by the students who eagerly helped unload it and establish it in its temporary home on the playground.

“It was such a big reward to see the excitement on the kid’s faces when it was delivered,” Mr Watkins recalled.

“That’s why we love being involved with these projects.”

Mr Zacek is extremely thankful to the Grafton U3A Men’s Shed for their involvement, along with Grafton Bunnings and CSR outlets who supplied a lot of the building materials.

“They all did such a great job and the students loved being involved with this project just as much as they did,” he said.

Raffle tickets have been sent home with students and are also available for purchase at South Grafton Public School for $2.

The lucky winner will be drawn on March 12.