Our school is a specialized international academy that promotes collaboration and team-based projects. My kids are recent immigrants mostly from Central America, Africa, and the Middle East with various levels of English and prior education. Most students come from families that are below the poverty line in the DC area and many are refugees fleeing from dangerous environments.
These students have endured difficult situations but have excelled in the face of adversity and are now looking for a better future.
Making connections between the math classroom and real-life is essential to them!
The instrument I am looking for funding for is called a Transit Level or sometimes referred to as a Dumpy Level or Theodolite.
Making connections to real-life is very important because high school math can very often be looked upon as very abstract and useless, particularly for students like mine who have limited prior education.
This instrument is used by surveyors and contractors to measure distances and elevations in construction sites using some of the principles used in geometry: relations between angles, triangle theorems such as the Pythagorean theorem and trigonometry.
With the Transit Level, I would take my students outside the classroom to perform projects using this instrument in which they will use their skills as if they were surveyors or engineers to calculate the area of a lot, the distance between two inaccessible points, the difference in elevation and so on.
With these experiences, not only will my students be able to understand better the concepts of geometry, but they will also be acquiring job-related skills that they will be able to use if they enter the workforce after high school, but also if they continue to vocational or higher education.
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