Time has flown by since Jeffco Public Schools Superintendent Jason Glass stopped by Green Mountain High School in the fall to hammer in the first nails of the school’s Geometry in Construction …
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Green Mountain High School’s Geometry in Construction program is available to ninth and 10th grade students at the home. This school year, there were around 70 students enrolled in the program, and it is divided in two class periods — one of which is geometry and the other is applying those geometry skills to constructing a house for a local family in need. The program has been adopted by 500 high schools nationwide, according to Green Mountain High School construction teacher Scott Burke. He started the program along with math teacher Tom Moore at Loveland High School over ten years ago.
Time has flown by since Jeffco Public Schools Superintendent Jason Glass stopped by Green Mountain High School in the fall to hammer in the first nails of the school’s Geometry in Construction program’s house. Now, what was just wood laying in the school’s parking lot is starting to look like a real home — and a local business is getting in on the construction.
Through Andersen Windows and Doors’ Window of Giving Program, a fund used to reinvest in community projects and charitable efforts, the company donated and installed windows with Geometry in Construction students on May 14.
Currently, the house is located at Green Mountain High School’s parking lot. When the house is complete, it will become the home for a local family in need. The house is expected to be completed in October.
“This is exactly the type of thing we like to do where we actively invest in our communities. The real benefit is being able to demonstrate the practical application of what (students) are learning and showing them that the world around them is what they’re learning in the classroom,” said Jon Erickson, general manager for Renewal by Andersen Window Replacement Colorado.
The program was started by Green Mountain High School construction teacher Scott Burke. Half of it teaches students geometry, and the other half has students apply those geometry skills to constructing the house. Students are divided into teams and given a card that has a task to be completed each construction day. Students learned everything from framing to pluming for the house.
“For many of these kids, they’re going to look back and say this was the best experience of their entire high school career. I know that because of past experiences,” says Burke who has been involved with the program for more than 10 years. “The confidence they have to select tools and problem solve and make the viable product is totally amazing. It makes me emotional, because I know they will be able to go out and accomplish greatness in anything they set their mind to.”
Last year Burke, Green Mountain High School Principal Colleen Owens, Tracy Csavina, a math teacher in the Geometry in Construction program and administrator Lora Bong, were awarded The Succeeds Prize 2018 for Excellence in Education Innovation. The award recognizes Colorado public schools and educators who work toward student success.
“Building the house makes it more special. It makes math more special, because you actually get to do something with it,” said Brenden Lottes, a Green Mountain High School sophomore who is involved in the Geometry in Construction program. “Instead of just making shapes, you’re measuring wood and actually doing stuff. It makes it a good class.”
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