The 3rd Annual Poudre High School Geometry In Construction Build 2016-2017
Fort Collins Habitat for Humanity has been proud to partner for three years with Poudre High School’s Geometry in Construction program. This hands-on STEM educational program allows 80 students annually to learn Geometry and Construction while building a Habitat for Humanity home in the parking lot of their school. The home is then moved to a neighborhood, placed on a foundation, finished, inspected and
then sold to the Habitat homebuyer family.
The 2nd Annual Poudre High School Geometry In Construction Build 2015-2016
Learn more in this Coloradoan article: “Poudre High School students start second Habitat home.“
Fort Collins Habitat for Humanity has been proud to partner for two years with Poudre High School for their Geometry in Construction program. This hands-on STEM educational program allows 80 students annually to learn Geometry while building a modular Habitat for Humanity home in the parking lot of their school. After the home is mostly completed, it is then moved to the site and placed on the foundation where it is finished, inspected by both the City and the State to meet code and then sold to the partner family.
The program started in response to identified needs for integrating academic and CTE skills and knowledge. Two teachers at Loveland High School in Loveland, Colorado, created and implemented an integrated, contextualized geometry and construction program, Geometry in Construction, in the 2006-2007 school year. Geometry in Construction—geometry taught in the context of construction—is team-taught by mathematics and construction teachers. The content of the traditional geometry curriculum, which is aligned with the National Common Core Standards, was reorganized to allow the geometry concepts to be taught in the sequence required for building a house, the annual capstone event for the Geometry in Construction program. The program is a three-hour block for 9th- and 10th-grade high school students and allows students to learn geometry concepts and immediately apply them in the construction setting while working on completing a home with a local family in need. Students receive credit for both the geometry and construction courses.
The program is experiencing student engagement and enthusiasm at an all-time high. Students regularly visit the program beyond normal classroom hours for activities like math tutorials and construction sessions; this high level of participation often stems from the excitement students feel about the program and the housebuilding project. In addition to students’ enthusiasm, the community has also embraced the program. (www.nrccte.org)
It is predicted that 80% of new jobs will require math, science, and engineering, and 50% of workforce will retire soon, making it more important than ever to inspire students to pursue careers in these fields. (https://www.wolfram.com/solutions/stem/)
Hands-on STEM learning works. There are now over 200 Geometry in Construction programs across the country, with 6 that are building something bigger than a dog house or shed. Local teachers Steve Sayers and Nathan Savig say that “The biggest question we get when teaching match is always ‘Why is this relevant?” Now rather than just doing a math exercise we can now say ‘Let’s calculate the surface area of our roof so we can order shingles for our roof’ and if we miscalculate we see a real world consequence. This gives us a practical application for everything we do with geometry.” They have also said that it matters that their students can drive by the house in 20 years and say “That is the house I built when I was in high school.”
The first annual build was build in the 2014-2015 school year in partnership with the Nagel family.
Completed home at Avondale Cottages
Last year 80 Poudre High School students learned about and built the home while earning a year of geometry credit, and a year of construction credit. The classes were taught by two math teachers and a construction teacher; Mr. Justin Koehn (math teacher), Mr. Nathan Savig (construction teacher) and Mr. Steve Sayers (math teacher) who will be guiding the students through this hands-on project.
“We’ve listened to community members and industry representatives who have voiced concern over the lack of skilled tradespeople. We’re responding to those concerns by giving students hands-on, authentic learning opportunities to become the next generation of skilled tradespeople.” Kathy Mackay, Principal of Poudre High School
The Nagel family is eager for a new beginning in a new home. They will contribute 250 hours of “sweat equity” to help build the home, a basic tenet of Habitat for Humanity.
“I look forward to working with the Habitat team and the Poudre High School students and teachers to build a home where our family can grow and thrive,” said Ms. Nagel. “I also look forward to the lifelong connections made with Habitat for Humanity and having the opportunity to help others achieve their dream of owning a home.”
Geometry in Construction Poudre High School video
For more updates and photos on the Nagel Family build, please click here to see our Facebook page.