Turning Point School Blog
To culminate the Grade 7 first trimester Geometry unit, Ms. Pritchet’s Pre-Algebra students worked on an exciting Community Redevelopment Project, which combined knowledge and skills gained from their studies in Pre-Algebra, Environmental Studies, and in SmartLab classes.
The assignment was to imagine and design a structure or house that could be built or “flipped”—with the intention of improving the local Culver City community.
Some students decided to build a new structure, using a vacant lot on Wesley Avenue between Washington and National as the location. Students visited the empty lot and used Google images and maps to measure the space and formulate their basic ideas.
They then created a 2-D blueprint of their design on poster board with the area measurements and flooring costs, and then used SketchUp to build a 3-D model of their structures that included all specifications used to create their redevelopment center. The structures the students created included a food bank, educational/sports complex, library tutoring center, and a pet adoption/animal shelter, just to name a few!
Other students worked on a “House-Flip” low-income housing project where they remodeled a house in order to flip it and sell it back to the city as a housing development community. These students also used SketchUp to build 3-D models of their houses.
In order to complete both projects, students had to apply the mathematical skill of finding the area of geometrical shapes, implement sustainable elements into their designs, and use knowledge gained from their SmartLab classes to produce magnificent work. As a concluding exercise, they presented their vision and work to their classmates.
Their next step is to try to secure a meeting with the City Council of Culver City to propose one of the redevelopment projects for the vacant space, or to combine the House-Flip structures to create a low-income housing community.
Lessons such as these that incorporate real-world issues allow students to make learning come to life, and enhance their skills as problem-solvers. At Turning Point School, students embrace opportunities to study, create, and develop social change. This is especially true when the problem exists in their own lives or in their own communities.