Chalk up another successful school year for the “Geometry in Construction” class at Sturgis Brown High School, serving students in the Black Hills of South Dakota. This initiative, the first of its kind in the state, integrates industrial arts and geometry as students apply both disciplines to build a structure.
Concentrating their efforts on houses for Habitat for Humanity in prior years, the class took a different tack this year by building two 16” x 20” cabins for the Buffalo Chip Campground. The Campground’s owner, Rod Woodruff, agreed to partner with construction instructor Jon Swan on the project. “We needed a simple construction project the students could complete, and Rod agreed to provide the materials to build the cabins. They are the perfect size and scope,” Swan said.
Swan handed over the keys to the finished cabins—which are described as having tongue and groove pine interiors and front porches—to Woodruff on May 23. Woodruff praised the students’ diligence and initiative, adding that their work ethic will serve them well as they enter the job market.
Students spent half their time in the classroom and the other half planning and building the cabins, requiring the practical application of theory, critical thinking and hands-on skills. Swan, who hopes to work with the Buffalo Chip again next school year, added, “This project gives students the opportunity to learn more than just classroom geometry; this is applied science.”