Habitat for Humanity

STEM Learning

Alex, Communications Manager, Fort Collins, CO

10 October 2017

STEM Learning = Hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education.

We are thrilled to be able to increase our impact on the community by creating STEM Learning opportunities for local students.

PHS Geometry in Construction

STEM Learning:

Fort Collins Habtiat for Humanity is proud to partner annually with Poudre High School’s Geometry in Construction program. This is the ultimate hands-on learning opportunity—80 students spend the school year learning Common Core geometry before putting their skills to the test by constructing a Habitat for Humanity home. The modular structure (built on the school parking lot) is then moved to a neighborhood, placed on a foundation, finished, inspected and sold to a Habitat homebuyer family.

Impact:

Academic Achievement: Colorado students who participate in this program outperform their peers on standard math assessments and show a higher level of academic engagement and enthusiasm. 80% of students showed improvement in their grades, and 61% of students reported feeling more comfortable pursing challenging math courses in the future. Scroll through the charts below to see the feedback we’ve received from students:

 

Sector Impact: Since 2010, there has been a continual decline in the number of individuals pursuing a career in the skilled trades, with an estimated half-million jobs available without people trained to fill them. Construction, manufacturing, aviation and similar sectors are among some of the fastest growing industries, and are looking for new generations of employees with skilled trade experience and/or math and engineering backgrounds. Programs like Geometry in Construction teach these skills, and open a new door of opportunity – 56% of participating students said that they were considering careers in a math, engineering, construction or skilled trades as a result of the class.

Kinard C.A.R.E.S. Playground

STEM Learning:

When the time came to design the playground at the Harmony Cottages neighborhood, we wanted to call in the experts. Of course, that meant a stellar design team and playground architect, but who knows “play” better than kids? That’s why we paired up with students from Kinard Middle School’s C.A.R.E.S. class for the project. 

Students were split into groups to research different aspects of the design. What would work within the budget? What items could we incorporate to make the playground ability-inclusive? What building materials would be most eco-friendly and sustainable? Each student group looked into best practices and presented their findings. 

The final hands-on activity came one fall day, when the students joined the playground team for a design charette. The students received to-scale blurprints of the space and potential playground equipment, and placed the items in, thereby proposing the final design to the architect. Thanks to their hard work, we will have a beautiful playground that is inclusive, durable and most of all–fun!