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Stagg’s Zachary Zumerchik speaks to the District 230 board about the school’s Math in Construction program. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Stagg’s Zachary Zumerchik speaks to the District 230 board about the school’s Math in Construction program. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Stagg’s Math in Construction program has bright future

By Jeff Vorva

Pardon the pun, but Stagg could be on the ground floor of something big.

The Math in Construction course, headed up by the tag team of applied tech teacher Eric Malone and math teacher John Daniels has been getting some attention and the course was highlighted at the Consolidated High School District 230 meeting on Oct. 28.

Board members were shown a video that appeared in the “Built to Last” television show on ABC 7 in June. The class combines the use of math to build houses, although it is not at that stage yet.

It is still on the ground floor, so to speak and the group is building smaller things such as outdoor decks.

“This is just the beginning,” Daniels said. “Our eventual goal is to build a main house. And our eventual goal is to get to a point where we need a trailer.

“We’re starting small. As we build this curriculum we want to get to those points. Last year, we did what we did with the number of students that we had and we still worked really hard and made sure the students who were home were also involved.”

Some students told the board that using the math and all of its decimals and fractions to be a little daunting at first, but they were able to get through it.

The other huge value to the course it that it offers skills that students who do not want to go to college may find useful.

Board President Tony Serratore said he hoped that the program will expand to Sandburg and Andrew, the other two schools in the district and Daniels said it is starting at Sandburg.

“One of the students in the video said something that the board has been talking about for a few years,” Serratore said. “For years and years and years, it was always ‘you need to go to college, you need to go to college.’

“That’s not true for every student. We want to be able to help not only the students who want to go to college but also the students who don’t want to go to college. Our job here is to help all the students. Obviously, this is a step in that direction.”

Supt. Robert Nolting added his approval.

“This is a class I hope that will be a blueprint for our district,” he said. “We want to continue to make school that is something that connects to your life beyond high school. I think this will be helpful for us to do just that. You took a risk and it paid off. That will help us build a platform and it helps us move forward.”

One student who was originally against going to college said he may be changing his mind after taking the class.

“I didn’t want to go to college, I want to go to into the trades and I saw this class and I took it,” said Zachary Zumerchik. “A few weeks ago, Mr. Daniels talked about construction management, and I thought that was something I wanted to do. I realize that you need to go to a four-year school, and I said I’ll do that.”

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