On June 11, Evanston Township High School moved its latest Geometry in Construction house. Over the past academic year, ETHS students constructed the two-story, three-bedroom, two-and-a half bath house in the school’s south parking lot as part of a class called Geometry in Construction. This house is the fifth house that has been built by the Geometry in Construction classes.
On Community Build days, the school invited volunteers, including businesses, individuals, parents and students, to volunteer to help with the house.
On a rainy Monday morning teachers, students and Evanston residents gathered to observe as the newly constructed house was moved to its permanent location on Grey Avenue.
Co-teachers Maryjoy Heineman of the Mathematics Department and Matthew Kaiser of the Industrial Technology division of the Career and Technology Education worked collaboratively throughout the year to integrate their curricula and instruction and provide students the opportunity to learn hands-on problem solving skills, practical applications of math, and real-life construction skills.
The various construction tasks such as framing and roofing drove the mathematical content and sequence. The teachers organized the content of the geometry so students could learn, in sequence, how to build a house.
The Geometry in Construction course provided more than 90 students the opportunity to learn math by building a single-family home. Some of these students also took the online training from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), which introduced the students to the basic practices of identifying, reducing, eliminating and reporting hazards associated with their work on the house. Several students said the course increased their basic understanding of job safety basics.
Maya Strong, Antoinette McCoy, Catherine Motogawa, Gunnar Andersen, Ethan Morady, Sahaara Clark, Nicolas Martenet and Khris Bostick, students in the
Geometry in Construction class, stopped by ETHS to observe the move.
They reflected on the class, saying they felt it was a positive hands-on learning experience, a challenge in terms of homework and time management. It also strengthened their understanding of mathematical concepts, the importance of teamwork and safe use of power tools. The students said they also kept journals of the build days and worked from organized packets and a textbook throughout the academic year.
The construction project is a collaboration among ETHS, the City of Evanston and Community Partners for Affordable Housing. “The City of Evanston purchased the lot through its Affordable Housing Fund and donated it for this house,” said Sarah Flax, Housing and Grants Administrator for the City. Community Partners for Affordable Housing will handle the sale to an income-eligible family, she said. To sustain affordability in the event of a sale, only the house will be sold and the property will remain in a land trust, she said.