Ramtin Aidi’s geometry classes started their morning off with a splash.
On Thursday, March 29, Aidi’s first, second, and fifth-period geometry classes met at the swimming pool at the start first period to show off the boats they made for their projects.
The project required using the concepts that they’ve been learning: surface area and volume.
According to Ideaedu, knowledge is highly context-dependent and acquired through experience and involvement in real life situations.
“I do think math projects help me understand concepts better because it’s a hands-on experience,” sophomore Kathryn Auyoung said. “Through projects, I get to see how the math concepts work in the everyday world.”
Aidi assigns projects that not only to help students who don’t do well on tests but also help them understand the concepts better.
“I think the various projects my students produce in class have many benefits to them,” Aidi said. “Most importantly, the projects connect textbook theoretical learning to real life events in the outside world. Secondly, team projects allow students to work collaboratively and negotiate their differences.”
“Our teacher does a pretty good job of incorporating fun ways to learn and understand the material he has to teach. So, we were able to practice surface area and volume in a fun way,” sophomore Dani Dinulos said.
Although this project may have helped students make connections from math to the outside world and understand the concept of surface area and volume better, it wasn’t for everyone.
Students were given the option to participate in the project or do an alternative math packet that was worth the same amount of points as the project was.
“I chose to opt out of the project because I already had enough stuff going on in my other classes, so I didn’t think I’d have enough time to build the boat and do all the requirements necessary for it,” Auyoung said.
Students who chose to do the alternative packet were still invited to join everyone else at the pool to cheer on their peers.
According to Aidi, he came up with the boat project due to the fact that he found his math classes boring when he was in high school. His teachers had the tendency to lecture all period and assign lots of homework, so he decided that he would become a teacher that emphasized project-based and hands-on learning.
This project allowed students to explore ideas outside of the classroom, furthering their understanding and having fun while doing so.
“I did have lots of fun doing this project because it’s something I’ve never done before, and the competition to get first place made it fun,” Dinulos said.
Students competed against one another in their boats in different heats. Eventually, one team came out on top. For Dinulous and her partner, they came out victorious.
“Honestly, I was surprised that our boat did so well because there were other people with the same design, so I do believe it came down to the person racing the boat,” Dinulous said.