Activity & Project Ideas from Successful Geometry in Construction Schools

Often, we have the opportunity to learn about successful projects that schools use to drive the GIC program.  Most of the activities below do not run the entire year but are used to teach pieces of the curriculum.  Below are quick summaries of some of these ideas.

  • A Colorado high school invites the nurse in to teach some basic first aid to the students as part of their safety protocol.
  • A school provides OSHA certification to all of its students via the OSHA 10-Hour Online Training.  In addition to providing another layer of safety, it meets requirements that some states have for certification.
  • A rural school, in partnership with the local small-town lumber yard, builds custom sheds & outbuildings for the lumber yard.  The lumber yard sells these outbuildings to the people in the community.  The lumber yard supplies the materials, the school supplies the labor and the profit is shared.
  • A suburban high school builds corn hole boards for one of their projects.  What makes this unique is their method for teaching this project.  Each group starts a corn hole board.  After a few days, the corn hole boards rotate to a different group.   In other words, each group inherits another group’s started corn hole boards.  The new group must take over, fix any issues, learning not to blame, and learn that contractors in industry often experience the same frustrations.
  • A Midwest career center builds playhouses for their project.  Each student group designs, builds, finishes and markets their playhouse.   The class produces 6-9 playhouses per year with each playhouse being unique.
  • A large high school that builds bird houses as the first project.  What makes this unique is that the class researches and designs the bird house to fit a bird in the area.  In addition, they must create the most efficient layout of the parts.  Once that is done, the students must create a division of labor scheme so that they have the most efficient labor usage.  The class must modify the process if there are bottle necks in the manufacturing process or if students are not working to capacity.
  • A small northern school that builds saunas for clients.
  • A high school that builds furniture and bunk houses for youth camps in the area.
  • Chicken coops and deer blinds are still a popular project among many high schools.  They are sold to allow a school to recoup their costs.

Many schools select projects that enable the students to experience success and that fit the comfort level of the instructors (and of the finances).  Schools then set a goal to grow what they build.   Numerous schools now build half a house in partnership with another school in the area.

Building of a home is not a requirement of a successful Geometry in Construction program.  Many schools across the United States have experienced great success using some of the ideas listed above.  If you have an idea that your students have really enjoyed, please share with us.