Promising Practice – Geometry in Construction
Colorado’s CTE programs are seeking to develop a seamless system of education that eases student transitions from one educational system to another and from one level of instruction to another. Data from the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) and district-wide strategic plan previously indicated a need to improve mathematics skills for all students. Another recognized need was that of reaching out to underrepresented populations—including women, English language learners, recipients of free and reduced-price lunch, special education students, and other minority groups—with quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. In Larimer County, construction-related careers account for more than 20% of the private workforce, yet there existed an unmet local demand for construction workers at all levels of the industry. Business and industry representatives from the field who met to discuss the problem stressed the need to hire competent employees who possess solid math skills and a foundation of knowledge in green building techniques, construction, and leadership and employability skills.
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.