Most high school students do not build a house as a part of their curriculum, but several kids in Irving are doing just that in geometry class. It is a creative way of learning mathematics — in and out of the classroom — at MacArthur High School.
What looks like a construction site is actually geometry in action.
“We’re building a tiny home,” explained instructor David Lewis, who has been leading the budding construction experts as they erect homes that are only about 400 square feet in size. The students first learn the concepts in the classroom, then apply that knowledge outside.
“You don’t know there’s triangles in there, but you’ll find a lot of triangles once you do the math,” freshman Alejandra Ruiz said.
Lewis is equipping his students with more than just math skills though. “Job opportunity in construction now is really, really high,” Lewis said. “I also tell my students, I don’t do this necessarily for a living but, because I learned these skills in school, I do all my stuff at home, which saves me thousands of dollars.”
The homes do not stay on campus after they are completed. They are auctioned off, and the money is used for materials to build another home. And, believe it or not, there is actually a demand for such small houses. In some cases, the structures have fetched up to $25,000.
“It makes me feel happy,” added sophomore Devon Farris. “It kind of gets me through the rest of my day, because being hands-on on this and seeing it grow is a pretty cool feeling.”