What Does a Successful AMPED or Geometry in Construction Program Look Like?

Often, we are asked what does a successful contextualized program look like?  After several years of being able to observe and evaluate AMPED and Geometry in Construction programs across the country, we have boiled it down to these indicators.

For AMPED on Algebra (Algebra I in Manufacturing Processes, Entrepreneurship and Design) the key indicators are:

  1. We believe that a successful AMPED class must have a business operating with income.The business should have the goal of breaking even.   Most of the connections between Algebra 1 and CTE can be found in various aspects of running the business.
  2. We believe it is very important that students can make/design a product, evaluate the process, make improvements, and test their “new” manufacturing process (AKA Engineering Design Process).
  3. We believe teachers are the key for students to make the connections between the CTE and the Algebra I.Teachers enable this thru the variety of activities found in both the algebra and the CTE components of the course.

For Geometry in Construction the key indicators are:

  1. We believe that a successful Geometry in Construction class must be building some combination of larger projects such as benches, grill stations, picnic tables, sheds, green houses, playhouses, outdoor animal enclosures, gazebos, tiny homes, etc.  Note a successful program does not need to build a full house however some schools elect to do this.
  2. We believe that students need to be involved in their own learning.  We as teachers need to take a “back seat” and let students experience working in groups in building something on a larger scale (see examples in #1 above) with the goal of developing 21st Century Workplace skills.
  3. We believe teachers are the key for students to make the connections between the CTE and the geometry.  Teachers enable this thru the variety of activities found in both the geometry and the CTE components of the course.

For both courses, components of an effective program include:

  • Open to All Kids in a Heterogenous Class
  • Cooperative Groups
  • Team Building
  • Peer Mentoring & Tutoring
  • Scaffold Learning
  • Under-represented Populations
  • CTE Driven
  • Math Contextualized and Not Watered Down
  • Team Teaching/Collaboration Between Teachers
  • Kid Done- Kid Friendly Apprenticeship Learning
  • Active & Engaging Learning thru Authentic Projects
  • Student Accountability
  • 21st Century Workplace skills
  • Culture of Kid Success
  • Service Learning
  • Self-Funded & Sustainable

These were the goals set forth 15 years ago when we taught the very first Geometry in Construction course and we still find ourselves pursuing and improving in these areas.




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