It’s full speed ahead next year for Romeoville High School’s new geometry in construction class.
“We’ve taken the focus off the formality of geometry and put it more into practical applications,” said RHS industrial technology instructor Jim Egizio, who, along with math instructor J.C. Nagel, spent two hours a day every school day with 10 sophomores helping them learn how the practical side of geometry.
“We’re taking things they learn in geometry and showing them how it applies to the trades,” Nagel said.
“This isn’t learning how to frame a house and it’s not just swinging a hammer,” Egizio said. “We talk about excavation, road construction, plumbing, electric…all the trades. They need to understand why math is important in all this.”
The class worked on several projects over the past year including construction of an 8x10 greenhouse for RHS, a chicken coup they sold to a local resident, and a 10x12 free-standing storage shed for RHS. (“Hopefully,” said Egizio, “We’ll be able to manufacture them down the road and sell them to raise some money.”)
Most recently they built cedar benches and an entry way for the new edible garden at A. Vito Martinez Middle School, working side-by-side with AVM students on a cold, rainy day to assemble them.
“The AVM kids jumped right into it with our kids,” Nagel said.
“This is the only program like this in Illinois that we know of,” Egizio said. You can see they understand geometry a little bit better. We’re pumped for next year.”
And “pumped” they should be because next fall 30 sophomores will be enrolled in the unique two-credit class.
“We can’t just build sheds with 30 kids. We’ll have a whole crew next year so we’ll need to build bigger structures,” Egizio said. “I’m going to try my darndest to find a Habitat (for Humanity) house that we can build in stages here and have it shipped.”
A pretty lofty goal? Not really, said Egizio. Just another way to make sure VVSD students are prepared for their future.
“The industry needs skilled people,” he said.