Battle High School students build "tiny house" to learn math, help community

2 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago Monday, March 25 2019 Mar 25, 2019 Monday, March 25, 2019 7:33:00 PM CDT March 25, 2019 in News
By: Micaela Dea, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

COLUMBIA - Battle High School students are taking a new math class, and it doesn't involve just sitting in a classroom. 

The "Geometry in Construction" or GIC, class combines all the Missouri geometry learning standards with production woodworking standards.

The class chose to build a 20-by-16-foot Accessory Dwelling Unit, or "tiny house." Student teacher Rebecca Hinnah said there's no other class like it in Columbia Public Schools.

Freshman Quinton Main said the course is better than taking a "boring old" geometry class.

"It's not hard once you get past the cold. It's actually pretty fun," he said. "As opposed to regular geometry, it's a great class."

Freshman Seairra Ferguson said the class helps her use math in everyday life.

"I'm more of a hands-on learner so in general it just helps to be able to visualize how math will be able to help in general with like real world stuff because I feel like a lot of math classes don't necessarily apply it to real world stuff," she said.

Once built, the house will be donated to Central Missouri Community Action. It will sell or rent it for a lower price to a low-income family or someone in need.

"Since I know that this is going to someone in the community that doesn't have a house and that stuff, it makes me feel kind of sorry for them and that I should do the best to help them in order to make them have a better life," freshman Conner Gibson said.

Teacher Carl Dement said students inspired by both construction and math.

"It's a good group of kids and we were fortunate to get the kids we have. I can see their motivation and it helps and it shows," he said.

Teacher Brian Hancock said the students' confidence level has grown since the beginning of the course.

"They know what they're doing and they're confident in what they're doing and it gives you, like, that pride feeling that we've talked about, like satisfaction," he said. "We taught these kids how to do this and they're running with it and it's pretty amazing." 

The class hopes to be done by May, but summer school still gives students an opportunity to work on the construction.

Main said, "They break us up into groups and we all have an assigned job. So we all have to work together to get it done fast or it doesn't get done.

Dement said there's always a certain amount of pride the comes from teaching someone something and watch them apply it.

"There's times where we'll step back and watch them work. It makes you feel good," he said.

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