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Geometry in Construction

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As the first semester is wrapping up, one of Maine West’s newest classes is continuing to make progress on their ambitious year-long project. Geometry in Construction, a two-period, year-long course of geometry and construction, is an alternative for incoming sophomores who don’t want to take a traditional geometry class.

Unlike the standard geometry classes at West, Geometry in Construction not only proves theorems on paper but in reality. “It’s a really good class if you want to learn how to apply math to everyday life in a way that you’ll use,” said sophomore Genevieve Bellot, who is currently taking the class.

The class has been working on building a timber frame shed that will be located near the softball field upon completion. After modeling a scaled-down version of the shed in AutoCAD — a  software program used by professional architects — the class created a real-life model with smaller pieces of wood. They modeled a true to size version in AutoCAD during October and are now physically constructing the shed.

Bringing the architectural plan to life gives students in the class the opportunity to use power tools. “We cut the [wood] pieces with power tools and learned to use the Mortiser machine,” Bellot said. A mortiser machine chisels rectangular holes into the middle of a piece of wood so a mortise and tenon joint can be used.

While the exact date of the shed’s completion is unknown, Bellot looks forward to leaving her mark on Maine West. “Being able to work on a project that will be at Maine West forever while learning math hands-on is one of the best things about the class,” Bellot said.

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